Organising to achieve fairer pay in social care

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2022 Community Conference and Seminar
24 November 2021

Throughout the pandemic we have seen how important Social Care Workers have been to the country, demonstrating their skills and professionalism, yet most don’t earn the real living wage and many are still on zero hours contracts.

As more workers leave the sector, for better pay and recognition of their skills, we need to fight for Social Care to be properly funded and for worker’s pay and, terms and conditions to be significantly improved.

Strong workplace organisation is essential if we are to retain the members we gained during the pandemic. Key to this workplace organisation is the identification of new stewards, the continuing support of their role and encouraging more members to engage in the union’s activities. It is vital we develop a campaign around improving pay and conditions, to encourage members to get involved as well as, attract new members, as they see the visibility of our campaign and identify UNISON as the union for Social Care workers.

In developing a campaign around fair pay for social care workers this conference asks the SGE to:

1. Develop a plan for recruiting new stewards and for support from the regions

2. Ensure support to new stewards and activists, through training and education, mentoring etc

3. Play a full role in developing UNISON’s cross sectoral Social Care Strategy and campaign, pressing for a minimum sectoral wage of £12 an hour.

4. Call for all social care to be publicly owned and managed, particularly where organisations claim they cannot afford to pay a fair wage

5. Disseminate briefings for the social care campaign, including the key facts and main issues to branches, along with materials that can be used on social media and newsletters

6. Work with the Regions to support the running of activists workshops, as part of the campaign, to ensure consistent key messages and support to activists.

7. Coordinate pay campaigning where appropriate with Local Government and Health, ensuring developments in pay approaches in those sectors are taken into account in bargaining with community employers.