UNISON will work with other organisations to highlight the value of social care, says a new report from the union published in the run-up to a Westminster green paper on the future of care and support from older people – though that will only apply to England.
The union report comes out of a seminar the union held earlier this year, which “provided a timely opportunity to assess the current state of the sector”.
Social care, both residential and at-home, cuts across various public-service sectors, and different UNISON service group. While the pressures on the service are the same across the UK, they affect the four nations that make up the country in different ways.
The seminar brought together union members and activists from every region of the union, the community, health care and local government service groups and the private contractors national forum.
“Our government and our country must show they care about those who care for our loved ones,” general secretary Dave Prentis told the seminar.
He highlighted the success of UNISON campaigns for better wages and rights for care workers, but called for a grown-up public debate on fair funding for social care.
As the union enters its 25th year, he emphasised the importance of UNISON being fit for the future and the best possible union for members working in social care.
Seminar participants agreed on:
- the need to raise the public profile and the esteem of the sector;
- the need to raise the status of the social care workforce as part of that;
- the need for fair funding, which they declared “is of paramount importance”.
Further thoughts and comments are welcome and will be considered by the union’s service group liaison committee.