City Mayor Paul Dennett has announced a pay boost for Salford’s social care workers to bring them closer to the real Living Wage.
It is part of Salford’s aim to become the first Living Wage City in England by encouraging more employers to pay the real living wage of £9.30 an hour.
One of the areas to be targeted by the City of Salford’s Living Wage Task Force is the health and social care sector, which has been highlighted as a sector facing high levels of employee turnover, poor retention, limited training and development, low pay and zero-hour contracts in addition to friends and families providing care without pay. The Task Force is made up of representatives of local businesses, the council, the University of Salford and the voluntary and community sector.
In 2017 Salford City Council and Salford’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) boosted pay to £8.30 per hour for home care workers in the city – well above the national minimum wage at the time. Both the council and Salford’s CCG are accredited Living Wage employers with the Living Wage Foundation and pay all their direct employees at least the real living wage. Salford City Council was the first local authority in Greater Manchester to uplift its workers to the real living wage in 2013.
Now Mayor Dennett has agreed another pay rise to £9 per hour from 1 October 2020 for all care workers in the city as the council and Salford’s CCG continue to work towards care workers receiving the full real Living Wage. In addition both organisations will be seeking to identify resources in order to pay the real living wage of £9.30 per hour to those care workers on the supported tenancies learning disability contracts from wage from 1 October 2020 as a progressive step towards bringing all care workers onto the real living wage.
“This is an investment in people who do one of the most important jobs in our neighbourhoods and communities – caring for the elderly and vulnerable, whilst also making sure they can maintain their dignity and independence,” said Mayor Dennett.
“The last pay rise was funded three years ago by a one off national government grant after local authorities drew attention to the crisis in adult social care. While local authorities face unprecedented demand for services the sector has been struggling to recruit and retain staff because of low pay.
“We do not have the luxury of that extra funding now, especially with significant ongoing financial uncertainty in local government and after having had £211 million cut from central government funding since 2010 with no let-up in demand for services. It is for these reasons that we cannot move straight to paying carers in our city the real Living Wage but I am determined to campaign, lobby and work towards achieving this as soon as we can. Today’s Health and Social Care Committee’s launch of the Social Care Funding and Workforce Inquiry is an opportunity for the city of Salford to highlight the challenges we continue to face with social care, highlighting the impacts of austerity, notably precept (regressive taxation) increases on council tax bills over the past four years and the importance of paying our care workers a real living wage and providing training and development opportunities.”
Branch Secretary, Unison, Steve North “Our members are absolutely delighted to receive this news. We want to thank those people who supported the campaign, in particular Paul Dennett, City Mayor and Councillor Gina Reynolds. The success of this campaign shows care workers can have a strong voice. And we in Unison are determined to continue to help them to use that voice and deliver real dignity in social care. Salford Unison is also committed to supporting the council in campaigning central government for a fair funding settlement for Salford, especially after £211 million of cuts since 2010.
Councillor Gina Reynolds, Lead Member “This has been a difficult process but there has never been any doubt that we are committed to supporting care workers who work tirelessly to protect some of our most vulnerable residents in the city. Care workers deserve to be paid a decent wage and this decision is very much welcomed.”
Dr Tom Tasker, Chair of Salford CCG, said: “Social care workers play a critical role in looking after Salford’s most vulnerable people and making sure they are receiving the best care within the community. I’m delighted that they are set to be paid a higher and fairer wage for what can be a challenging and demanding job. We recognise that this isn’t the real living wage, but it is a step in the right direction as we continue to work on providing carers with a wage that is in line with real living costs."