Bradshaw calls for immediate plans for social care worker pay rise

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has called for immediate plans to be put in place to raise the pay of social care workers.

The South Belfast MLA was speaking following the report of the Expert Advisory Panel Report on Social Care, which said a living wage should be adopted, as well as the equalising of pay and conditions across the social care workforce in the long-term.

“This is a hugely significant report providing independent analysis of support and identification of priority reforms. It notes there are numerous strong points within the system,” said Ms Bradshaw.

“Nevertheless, reform is necessary. These include a greater focus on giving control to people in care and community support, and properly appraising the cost of providing care and support. There is no dispute the conditions under which social care workers operate must also be improved.

“As we discuss the broad issue of pay for public sector workers including in the health and social care sector, it should be evident no-one in social care should be working for below the living wage. Correcting this will have a significant impact on the budget, but low pay in times of a rising cost of living is a false economy.

“This report demonstrates we need to value social care much more, and thus those who rely on it and work in it much more. Implementation of the reforms outlined would be a significant step forward, but we should not underestimate how much work there is to do.”

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