First Minister challenged on 'bare minimum' social care worker pay rise

Over 100 organisations have signed the joint letter to Humza Yousaf demanding a better pay uplift.

First Minister challenged on ‘bare minimum’ upcoming social care worker pay rise STV News

More than 100 organisations have signed a joint letter to the First Minister saying the upcoming pay increase for social care and support staff is not enough.

The letter, organised by the Coalition of Care and Support Providers in Scotland (CCPS), says the increase to £12 an hour – in line with the real living wage – tells staff they are “only worth the bare minimum”.

It was signed by 110 organisations, including social care providers, charities and carers’ representatives.

The letter was sent to Humza Yousaf on Friday morning.

It said: “With the Scottish Government setting the new base rate of pay for social care staff at £12p/h from next spring – simply matching the updated Real Living Wage and no more – the message to these staff is clear: You are only worth the bare minimum.

“This despite the fundamental work they do supporting people to thrive and live independent lives, work that is at the heart of your vision for ‘equality, opportunity and community’ in Scotland.

“£12 per hour is not enough.”

Rachel Cackett, chief executive of CCPS, said: “Organisations that provide social care are rapidly losing staff because the current pay of £10.90 is simply too low to retain them and they migrate to better-paid jobs elsewhere.

“It is a scandal that, in communities across Scotland, people who need support to live, thrive and stay independent, can’t get it because there aren’t the staff available.

“As the First Minister will see from the range of signatories to this letter – the first time so many organisations have come together to make a joint call on this issue – we represent an emerging movement who are determined to bring social justice to social care and support.”

In response to the letter, social care minister Maree Todd said: “Funding for social care has increased by over £800 million compared to 2021-22 as part of a record high health and social care budget of more than £19 billion and we continue to work with partners to address the pressures they face and take forward reform to deliver improved, sustainable services.

“Social care workers delivering direct care in commissioned services will see their pay increase to a minimum of £12 per hour from April 2024 – up from the £10.90 minimum rate introduced this year.

“The creation of the National Care Service will help to provide consistency in further improved pay and conditions, access to training and development and ensuring a career in social care is attractive and rewarding – but we are beginning to make those improvements now.”

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