September 10, 2021
We want fairer pay for social care staff
This is about calling on government to ensure all social care workers receive a minimum of the ‘real living wage’ of £9.50. Right now, most staff across the sector are not paid this because of a lack of local authority funding. Like so many social care providers, this affects us as an employer and our people. We want this to change.
We used the week as an opportunity to share our views on the importance of better reward and recognition for people in complex and skilled frontline roles and to showcase some of our most awesome social care heroes.
Fairer pay for essential workers is something we’ll continue to push for at PSS and across the sector. We invite you to join us in signing the petition to government here.
Here’s a quick round-up of our week focussing on fairer pay.
Our chief exec Lesley comments on the new plan for social care for BBC Radio Merseyside
On Thursday 9 September, Boris Johnson introduced a 1.25p per pound increase to National Insurance contributions to fund a new health and social care tax. This will begin in April 2022 and end in April 2023. The government says that the funds raised from this tax increase will be used to pay for the strain and backlog felt by our NHS following the pandemic initially and then moved into social care over the next three years. These funds are planned to be put towards personal care costs and to make sure nobody in England has to pay more than £86,000 in complex care costs in their lifetime from October 2023. In Wales, it will mean that nobody who is eligible to get care at home will have to pay over £100 a week to get this. This is great news for lots of people with complex care needs but there has been lots of debate over the way the funds are being raised, the fact that funding is focussed on older people when social care covers all ages and levels of need and bigger issues like fairer pay for social care staff.
That day our chief exec Lesley featured on BBC Radio Merseyside to talk to Helen Jones about these plans to tackle the social care crisis. Lesley welcomed this renewed focus on social care after the sector being kicked into the long grass for far too long. She acknowledged the amazing impact more funding will have on the NHS and our older population, whilst challenging the lesser focus on people with a learning disability and/or mental health challenges and their families. Lesley also asked some crucial questions about how much of the funding will make it to frontline social care services and how we can resolve some of the broader issues around longstanding cuts to the sector. As Lesley says, the need for better pay is at the top of our list.
Listen from 3:11:05: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p09sn8c4
The pandemic has helped people understand the importance of the social care sector
Meet Rachael, a support worker for our Liverpool Supported Living service
Rachael from our Supported Living team is happy that the pandemic has helped people to appreciate the vital role of support workers and other frontline staff. As Rachael explains they support our NHS keeping people out of hospital. Rachael worked right through the pandemic in such challenging times supporting people with learning disabilities and mental health challenges who were often overwhelmed by the constant flux.
To Rachael, social care is is so much more than just a job and deserves recognition.
Social care staff need similar skills to teaching assistants
Meet Peter, a support worker for our Liverpool Making Days for adults with learning disabilities
Peter’s an awesome support worker for our Making Days day centres for adults with learning disabilities in Liverpool. He brings his love of theatre and music into his role which has ‘opened his eyes to a world of learning’.
Peter was looking at studying to be a teaching assistant but didn’t have the finances to fund his degree. He found so many similar skills involved in being a support worker in day services. He helps people using project-based learning and helping them to gain independence and life skills. He’s also taken a level two NVQ in social care since starting the role and gained a qualification in Makaton sign language. He makes such a difference to people’s lives.
Being a support worker is demanding but rewarding
Meet Tommy, a support worker for our Liverpool Supported Living service
Tommy’s a support worker for our Community Support service in Liverpool. His role is complex. He supports Bill* to manage his mental health challenges, with his personal care, finances, taking his medication and staying active in his local community. No two days are the same and during the pandemic Tommy had so many challenges to overcome.
Tommy’s also a full-time carer for his own father who has dementia. He’s a genuinely amazing person with so many skills to offer. He loves the rewards he gets from his demanding role.
Support fairer pay for social care staff
You can support our awesome social care staff.
To sign the #BetterPay4SocialCare petition to government click here.