CARE WORKERS: I would expect WDC to follow this good example

Crosslet House in Dumbarton where care workers are said to have done a terrific job despite trying circumstances. Pictures by Bill Heaney

By Democrat reporter

The West Dunbartonshire branch of Unite Scotland has  welcomed written support for the union’s ‘Caring for Carers’ campaign in appreciation and support for care workers from Dundee City Council Chief Executive David Martin.
Margaret Wood, pictured right, a leading UNITE officer in Dumbarton, said: “Well done to Dundee City Council. I would expect WDC to follow this good example as a start to show appreciation of what these workers have worked through.”
The campaign was initially launched on Valentine’s Day as a response to the imposition of the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) registration fee on carers. The annual registration fees start at £25 for all support workers, £35 for residential child care and school care workers, and for social work mangers and care inspectors there is an annual cost of £80.
Following pressure to pay the SSSC registration fee that low paid carers are required to do in order to be able to work in the sector, Unite Scotland this week received the following statement from David Martin in support of the ‘Caring for Carers’ campaign:
“We have been working closely with Unite representatives and other local trade unions on the issue of registration fees and the impact of these on the care workforce and indeed the wider registered workforce, many of whom are in the lower pay scales.
“Many of these individuals have had this registration requirement introduced after they were employed but they believe salaries have not risen to recompense this additional expense.
“Unite’s campaign – ‘Care for our Carers’, struck a chord, particularly at this time of Coronavirus, where we have been so heavily reliant on the professionalism, resilience, and caring attitude of this predominantly female workforce.
“Dundee City Council will actively work in support of this campaign to have these fees paid nationally to support carers and encourage others to enter the industry.

“Perhaps the most effective way of addressing this matter is to ensure that the costs associated with registration are explicitly and fully considered when considering the Employers Pay offer to the workforce now and in future years.”

Unite regional industrial officer, Bob MacGregor, said: “Unite welcomes the support for our ‘Caring for Carers’ campaign from the Chief Executive of Dundee City Council. The campaign has gained widespread public support and the invaluable role of carers has only been highlighted further during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It’s an imperative that local authorities such as Dundee City are given the sufficient funds necessary to cover these costs without any negative knock-on effects on the pay of carers.
“Unite Scotland will be approaching all local authorities to gain their support like in Dundee to ensure employers and the Scottish Government cover these fees by either a substantial pay rise or through paying the fees centrally instead of taxing carers to pay the fees themselves.”

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