- 2020 Community Conference and Seminar
- 16 October 2019
Conference recognises that, for the UNISON Community Service Group, fair funding for social care is a core issue. Many of those providing care to the elderly and the vulnerable work for charities and not-for-profit providers. Our members in Community want to see a well-resourced social care system, not one ravaged by austerity and unable to meet rising demand.
Conference notes UNISON’s analysis of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) statistics published in July 2019 shows the number of taxpayers earning more than �1m each year has risen from 15,000 to 21,000 since the then Chancellor George Osborne introduced the tax cut in 2013. The savings for super-earners with incomes of more than �1 million a year have reduced payments to the Treasury by �13.98 billion, between 2013 and the current financial year 2019/2020.
Conference agrees with our General Secretary that �Instead of helping the rich line their pockets, the government should be ploughing money into services which make a real difference to society and our ageing population across the whole of the UK.”
Conference further notes the launch of the All Party Parliamentary Group Inquiry into the Professionalisation of Social Care Workers and the publication in July 2019 of the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee report on Social Care Funding �Time to end a national scandal� which highlighted that adult social care in England continues to be inadequately funded.
The report noted that 1.4 million older people (14 % of the population) had an unmet care need in 2018; that the number of older people and working-age adults requiring care is increasing rapidly, and public funding is not only not keeping pace, but has declined in real terms by 13% between 2009/10 and 2015/16.
The Economic Affairs Committee�s report importantly also urged the government to provide an immediate �8bn cash injection and reform the provision of care, including by giving free personal care to people who need it.
Conference welcomes the fact that this report shares many of UNISON�s concerns and reflects our union�s national policy and campaigning agenda. In particular, that increased funding for adult social care should provide for a higher paid workforce and one that benefits from investment in development and training.
Conference believes that these issues are key to securing an appropriately resourced industry that is populated by skilled, trained and appropriately remunerated staff who benefit from decent terms and conditions, trade union recognition and, ultimately, from an effective collective sectoral bargaining machinery.
Conference further believes that these issues also remain crucial to attracting and retaining a workforce who are valued and developed as skilled deliverers of key public services.
Conference therefore calls on the Community Service Group Executive to:
1. Continue to campaign vigorously for adequate investment, training, remuneration and value for our members in social care, working with other affected UNISON Service Groups and forums, such as local government, health and private contractors.
2. Specifically campaign for a social care system where care workers:
A. No longer have to endure poverty pay
B. Have adequate time to provide care, rather than rushing between unrealistically short appointment times
C. Are paid at least National Minimum Wage for Overnight Sleep in Shifts
D. Are paid for travel time between appointments
E. Are properly protected from violent attacks in the course of their work
3. Work with regions and branches and Community employers to identify good practice in social care training provision and to highlight the disparity in provision across the sector.
4. Work with the NEC, Service Groups, Labour Link and other stakeholders including lobbying political parties in positions of power and influence in Scotland, Cymru/Wales and Northern Ireland to continue to highlight the gross under-funding of adult social care and the impact this has on society.