Social Care Green Paper

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2019 Community Conference and Seminar
2 November 2018

UNISON Community Conference believes any plan to improve the dire state of social care in the UK must have the fair treatment of care workers at its core. Many carers work for third sector organisations, making this a key issue for the Community Service Group.

The government has said that the proposals in the forthcoming Green Paper will “ensure that the care and support system is sustainable in the long term”. UNISON Community Conference does not believe this is possible unless care workers are treated with the respect and fairness they so deserve.

Poverty wages and exploitative working practices have scarred the social care workforce over a period of decades. Many carers have been on the receiving end of the following sharp employment practices:

a. Not being paid for travel time between care visits

b. Being forced to carry out impossible work rotas, including 15 minute care visits

c. Chronically low staff levels

d. Unclear pay-slips which make it impossible to tell if the they have been paid correctly

e. Being paid less than the national minimum wage for overnight sleep-in shifts

f. Being told that violence at work is “part of the job”

These are just a few examples of the employment practices that care workers have been forced to endure.

Conference notes that UNISON Community Service Group has worked closely with other service groups and UNISON Policy Officers to provide a full and comprehensive response to the LGA Green Paper on Social Care, launched in July 2018.

UNISON Community Conference commits to ensuring our union gives the strongest possible response to the forthcoming/current government’s social care green paper when it is published and to putting pressure on the government to face up to the issue of fair employment conditions in social care.

Conference calls on the Community Service Group Executive to:

1. Work with the NEC policy Committee, Local Government and UNISON Policy Officers to contribute to a detailed response to the government Social Care Green Paper, which addresses the employment issues which are so important to UNISON Community members.

2. In particular, ensure that the issues of minimum wage for sleep-in shifts and violence at work are addressed in this response.

3. Work with UNISON Labour Link, NEC and other stakeholders including lobbying political parties in positions of power and influence in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to secure the funding which is so badly needed to improve standards of social care and the conditions of UNISON Community members working within it.