Sarwar: Labour will back budget if care workers get a fair deal

Ahead of Tuesday’s final budget vote in the Scottish Parliament, Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar today said Labour MSPs will back the Scottish Government’s budget if it delivers a fair deal for social care workers.

Scottish Labour has offered to support the budget if it includes an increase in social care workers’ pay to £12 an hour, with a process to raise this to £15 in the next parliament. The median wage for care workers across the UK is currently £9.50 an hour, and a pay rise could benefit as many as 200,000 people in Scotland who have contributed so much during the pandemic.

A recent survey conducted by the GMB union revealed that 98 per cent of social care workers feel underpaid, and 52 per cent regard themselves as undervalued by the Scottish Government.

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said:

“Our dedicated NHS and social care workers have contributed so much during the pandemic. Their efforts have saved lives and ensured the most vulnerable in our communities have been cared for, which goes to the very heart of a compassionate society.

We applauded them and now it’s time to recognise and reward them with a fair pay deal in this year’s budget. So I am making a clear offer to the Scottish Government: deliver a fair pay rise for social care workers and we will vote for the budget.

And then let’s spend the next parliament working on a recovery plan to rebuild Scotland.”

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3 thoughts on “Sarwar: Labour will back budget if care workers get a fair deal

  1. I’m all for the increase, but any suggestion on what to cut to pay for it?

    1. As highlighted here there is hundreds of millions of pounds still unallocated in the budget. The choice the SNP is making here is to build up an election/independence war chest rather than give fair pay to social care workers. So if you’re really in favour of the increase, and you now know it would have been entirely affordable, I guess you must be livid.

  2. Always suspicious when politicians chose to quote a median figure rather than an average figure. In this case, I assume the median wage of care workers will be lower than the average wage – something that would occur if the majority of care workers are paid below the average figure but the average is pulled up by a smaller number getting relatively better paid. Either way, this suggests a pay increase of around 20%. Is that really what Labour is asking for Care Workers and, if so, what increase are they demanding for nurses? Remember, Band 2 nurses make less than £10 per hour.

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