Almost 10,000 Sheffield care workers 'snubbed' in public sector pay rise row
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Unions and charities have called for the Government to address low pay in the care industry, after it announced other public sector workers including GPs, teachers and police officers would receive an above-inflation pay rise of up to 3.1 per cent.
Figures from charity Skills for Care show there were 9,000 people employed in a direct care role in Sheffield's social care sector in 2018-19.
However, none of them will benefit from the pay deal announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, who praised the ‘vital contribution’ public sector workers had made during the coronavirus crisis.
The Institute for Public Policy Research said it was an ‘unjustifiable snub’ to leave carers out of the deal, alongside healthcare workers such as nurses, midwives and paramedics.
Chris Thomas, IPPR senior research fellow, said: “It is unforgivable that after the remarkable bravery of all our healthcare heroes they would not receive fair pay.
“We urge the Government to reconsider their exclusion.”
The majority of care workers in England – 1.26 million, or 83 per cent out of the 1.52 million-strong workforce – are employed by private care providers, who are commissioned by councils to look after residents.
While their wages are set by employers, the government says councils work with providers to ‘determine a fair rate of pay based on local market conditions’.
Those employed directly by councils may be in line for a pay rise of 2.7 per cent in a new deal for council staff, although the Local Government Association said negotiations are unlikely to conclude before the end of August.
A recent report by the independent Low Pay Commission found low wages in the private care sector was linked to funding pressure on councils driving down the rates they pay to providers.