“We won’t give up in our Fair Work calls”

Comment: Rachel Cackett responds to the passing of the 2024-25 Budget and its implications for not for profit social care providers

Responding to today’s Stage 3 debate in parliament and the passing of the 2024-25 Budget, Rachel Cackett, CEO of CCPS, said:

“Social care was conspicuous by its absence in the Budget debate this afternoon. We are deeply disappointed to see no movement on the £12ph pay announcement for our not-for-profit member organisations.

“Paying skilled social care staff no more than the Real Living Wage will continue to undermine recruitment and retention.

“Ultimately, this will have profoundly negative implications for people who need support and their carers, for the NHS, for our economy and for any aspiration of equality and opportunity.

“To CCPS members who have campaigned for better: a huge thank you, and we won’t give up in our calls for #FairWork.”

“Some days, it feels like we literally hold people’s lives in our hands”

As part of our Rethink To 13 series, a support practitioner in Sense Scotland’s short breaks service tells us about the impact a pay increase to £13 would have on her, the workforce – and the people they support

“As a support practitioner in a respite unit for young people and adults with complex needs, I wear many hats, and perform so many roles in a day. I am carer, friend, cook, nurse, driver, emotional/physical outlet, entertainer, advocate, teacher, family, to name a few.

Some days, it feels like we literally hold people’s lives in our hands. I am paid the Living Wage for only one of these roles. Raising the wage to at least £13 an hour would not only allow us to feel more appreciated and valued within these roles, it would encourage experienced staff to stay within the care sector.

We do this job to the best of our ability and because we care. But in turn, we also need to feel that we are cared for. My role requires me to be registered with the SSSC, a professional body. However, we still are classed as unskilled workers. The roles we perform are anything but unskilled.

I have stayed with people in their hour of need, providing end of life care, ensuring they are not alone and feel safe and loved. Not because my role required this, but because this is what everyone deserves.

Raising the hourly rate of pay would lead to a happier, less stressed workforce, allowing us to focus on the care that the people receiving support deserve. This would enable them to have more confidence in the people caring for them and offer a happier, more positive experience of care.

It would also encourage others to look into a career in care, offering more diversity, skills and experience, which would enhance the level of service we can provide for the people we support.”

Find out more about Sense Scotland

Read more about our Rethink To 13 campaign

 

 

 

Rethink To 13 interview: “Our work deserves recognition. £13 an hour would be a step forward”

Continuing our campaign calling on the government to rethink its Budget, Dementia Care Worker Jacqui says that upping pay would ultimately improve the quality of care and support people receive

“I’m Jacqui, a Dementia Care Worker at the Mungo Foundation. Every day I see the impact that our staff have on the lives of the people we support and their families. Our work deserves recognition, appreciation and a fair wage. A wage of £13/hour would be a positive step in the right direction.

I have been working as a Dementia Care worker at Bankhall Court for over a decade. My role involves providing personalised care for individuals with dementia, focusing on enhancing their quality of life. Whether it’s personal care or emotional support and companionship, I approach every interaction with empathy and compassion that is tailored to their individual needs.

I believe that my contributions have been invaluable to the people I care for. My support and companionship make people feel valued and supported, positively impacting their overall wellbeing. Increasing my pay to £13 per hour would make a significant difference in my ability to provide even better care. It would alleviate financial stress, enabling me to focus on the needs of the people I support without distraction.

I hold multiple qualifications essential to providing high-quality care. However, I do not believe that my skills are adequately recognised in my current pay. £13 an hour would make a significant difference in people’s lives. It would allow our organisation to recruit more staff, alleviating the strain on the current workforce. Ultimately improving the quality of care and support that people receive.

It’s important to remember that around 90,000 people in Scotland have dementia, and two thirds of people with dementia live at home. By paying social care staff £13 an hour, the Scottish Government can ensure that people are receiving the high-quality care that they deserve.”

Find out more about the Mungo Foundation

Read about our Rethink To 13 campaign

‘It’s time to Rethink to 13’: MSP briefing published for stage 1 debate on Budget

We’ve produced a briefing for MSPs on Fair Work for Scotland’s social care staff, with an explanation of why the Scottish Government must now reconsider pay for social care staff

We’ve produced a briefing for MSPs on Fair Work for Scotland’s social care staff, with an explanation of why the Scottish Government must now Rethink To 13.

Download and read the briefing

The briefing was sent to a targeted list of MSPs ahead of today’s Stage 1 Debate on the 2024-25 Budget at Holyrood.

It features suggested questions to ask in the chamber on Thursday, key facts and stats on social care pay, and evidence from our current #RethinkTo13 campaign.

The Stage 1 debate on the budget is being held in a period of crisis for the social care sector, with provider organisations increasingly unable to recruit and retain staff due to lack of Fair Work.

As we reported last year, an average of 52% of staff who moved jobs in 2022 left the social care sector altogether (2022 Social Care Benchmarking Report).

Through the Rethink To 13 campaign we’re sharing stories from support workers in the sector about what a pay increase to a minimum of £13 per hour would mean to them and its positive impact on services and people receiving support.

A final debate on the 2024-25 Budget is due to be held at the end of February before it is passed by parliament.

Comment: When will we see the government’s values of ‘community, equality and opportunity’ reflected in investment in social care?

Our CEO Rachel Cackett responds to publication of the 2024-25 Budget

Responding to Tuesday’s announcement of the 2024-25 Budget, Rachel Cackett, CEO of CCPS, said:

“It’s very disappointing to see the social care sector overlooked, under-discussed and lacking in committed investment.

The government says public services need reform to be sustainable, particularly the NHS.

Government needs not-for-profit social care providers to deliver more prevention and early intervention for that to happen.

But to do that, providers need to still be here and to be sustainable.

Announcements yesterday reiterated that the base rate of pay would increase to £12 per hour for care and support staff starting in April 2024.

That means pay for our regulated, trained and largely female workforce will continue to remain unacceptably low in the context of rising living costs, a sector recruitment and retention crisis, and ever-growing demand for social care services.

This budget doesn’t address the current crisis in social care and doesn’t invest for the future.

Tougher budgets mean tougher decisions, but choice is what governs decision-making. And choices reflect the true values of the Scottish Government.

If the Scottish Government wants to be true to its words on ‘community, equality and opportunity’, we must see those values reflected in investment in our sector.

But this isn’t over: there is still time invest in the future of Scotland.

We are calling on the Scottish Government to Rethink To £13 per hour, at least, for social care and support staff as a first step in a timetable to equity.”

CCPS is currently analysing the full budget to assess the real terms impact of the announcement on social care spending across government portfolios.

Resources:

Link to our Rethink To 13 campaign

Link to Scottish Budget

Comment: “Social care could be the gift that keeps on giving for Scotland. But only if the government rethinks its budget”

Marking the launch of our new Rethink To 13 campaign, Rachel Cackett argues that £12 p/h for staff is too low, is ethically wrong, and flies in the face of what Scotland need to enjoy equality, opportunity and community

On the 19th December, during the last week of 2023 for the Scottish Parliament, the government will publish its draft budget.

In unprecedented times, we are hoping for something a bit different from this budget.

For years now, there have been calls for the Scottish Government to be far more transparent in setting out how its draft budget is intended to match investment to its stated priorities. This is a primary task of government: To ensure that funds raised from the public are invested in the things the democratically elected government has told us are important.

And when things are tight, justifying the allocation of too few resources to those things that a government says matters most is more important than ever.

So, perhaps the government can do something different this year.

The first minister has stated that all funding decisions must deliver against three things:

  1. Equality, by tackling poverty and protecting people from harm during the cost-of-living crisis
  2. Opportunity through a fair, green and growing wellbeing economy that can support improved living standards, reduce poverty, and sustain high quality public services, and
  3. Community by prioritising public services – building sustainability and reducing inequality.

So, perhaps we can expect the budget to be structured to show clearly how decisions to invest – and disinvest – will deliver these.

Perhaps, for example, we will see a commitment to the funding of sustainable social care services that support families facing poverty or destitution in the current financial climate to stay afloat, to keep a home, to feed their families and keep children in school.

Or to services that support disabled people, or people with long term health conditions – who face a myriad of daily inequities – to maintain their right to independent living and stay well in their own homes.

Or to mental health services that help prevent adults and children reaching crisis – and stop yet more people waiting too long for NHS services that just aren’t there – so that they can live connected, engaged lives as participants in work, school, family and community.

Or to the availability of social care and support for everyone who needs it so that unpaid carers can maintain jobs that can keep their families afloat.

Or to those staff in our sector, overwhelmingly women, who provide care and support to some of the most vulnerable members of my family and yours – but are paid far less than those in the public sector to do equivalent jobs simply because the government doesn’t provide enough funds.

Staff who may often work – and spend their wages – in the communities they support. Staff who are often working part time to juggle their unpaid caring responsibilities.   Staff who desperately need equality, opportunity and community.

You see, social care and support – ever the Cinderella of public service investment – could be the FM’s answer this Christmas. It could be the gift that keeps on giving; the glue that binds his priorities to effective investment. But it’s only possible with a workforce to deliver it.

And there’s the issue.

Half the people who moved jobs in our sector last year left social care altogether. And the unethical approach to embedding pay inequity into public service delivery means staff continue to leave and social care isn’t always there when you, or I, or our loved ones need it.

The FM has already imposed a £12 p/h pay deal for social care and support staff in our sector next year and, sadly, we expect to see this confirmed in the draft Budget on 19 December. But this won’t help the government meet its own budget priorities; it will undermine them.

So, Scottish Government, rethink your budget.

Investing at the very least £13 p/h in 2024-25 for all social care staff in our sector is the absolute minimum that will cut it – and that only as a first step in a plan to reach parity in pay.

£12 is too low; it’s ethically wrong; and it flies in the face of what you’ve told us it matters to invest in and what many people in Scotland need to enjoy equality, opportunity and community.

Please. Rethink your budget.

#RethinkTo13

Find out more about the campaign here.

More than 100 organisations urge First Minister to value social care staff in 2024-25 Budget

110 organisations from across civil society, including providers, anti-poverty groups, faith leaders, carers’ representatives and equality organisations, sign joint letter sent to the First Minister calling on him to increase pay

110 organisations have signed a joint letter sent to the First Minister calling on him to increase pay for social care staff and demonstrate that they are valued.

The letter, led by the Coalition of Care & Support Providers in Scotland (CCPS), is supported by organisations from across civil society, with social care providers joined by anti-poverty groups, faith leaders, carers’ representatives and equality organisations, among many others.

Read the letter and full list of signatories

In September’s Programme for Government, the First Minister announced a new base rate of pay for social care and support staff of £12 from April 2024, increasing from the current rate of £10.90.

As our letter explains, the pledged rate of £12 matches the updated Real Living Wage – sending a clear message to social care staff that they are only worth the bare minimum.

CCPS and signatories to the letter believe that £12 per hour is simply not enough, and that the proposed rate fails to reflect the invaluable societal contribution made by social care staff in supporting people to thrive and live independent lives.

Rachel Cackett, Chief Executive Officer of CCPS, said:

“Social care is at the heart of the First Minister’s vision for ‘Equality, Opportunity and Community’ in Scotland. Yet it is systematically overlooked and undervalued.

“Organisations that provide social care are rapidly losing staff because the current pay of £10.90 is simply too low to retain them and they migrate to better-paid jobs elsewhere.

“It is a scandal that, in communities across Scotland, people who need support to live, thrive and stay independent, can’t get it because there aren’t the staff available.

“As the First Minister will see from the range of signatories to this letter – the first time so many organisations have come together to make a joint call on this issue – we represent an emerging movement who are determined to bring social justice to social care and support.

“We are all clear that a better decision on pay for social care staff is needed in the 2024-25 Budget due to be published next month.”

(ends)

Media contact: Chris Small – chris.small@ccpscotland.org

Notes for editors:

▪ Staff vacancy rate in social care sector

Earlier this year, with the HR Voluntary Sector Forum (HRVSF), CCPS commissioned the University of Strathclyde to conduct a workforce benchmarking survey. In July we published an executive summary from the report finding that social care and support providers in Scotland are struggling with a loss of staff, with an average of 52% of those moving jobs last year leaving the social care sector altogether. Read the report. Read our media release.

▪ Proposed increase to £12 per hour, and Real Living Wage

The proposed rise from £10.90 per hour to £12 per hour for not-for-profit social care staff was announced on 5 September in the Programme for Government. The new rate of £12 for the Real Living Wage was announced on 24 October.

▪ 4 Steps to Fair Work

CCPS’s 4 Steps to Fair Work campaign (June – October 2024) called on the Scottish Government to properly recognise and reward social care staff for the work they do. It shared blogs and video contributions, including from a support worker who said that earning £10.90 per hour means “You can survive, but you can’t really live.”

▪ CCPS

The Coalition of Care & Support Providers in Scotland is the voice of not-for-profit social care providers, with 91 provider organisations in membership.

4 Steps Comment: “The door is open. Now we need to push it a bit further”

Our CEO Rachel Cackett reflects on the disappointments and successes of our 4 Steps to Fair Work campaign – and what our emerging movement can do next in its fight for social justice

“You can survive, but you can’t really live.”

Those words from Derek, a frontline social care worker, have echoed around my head during our #4StepsToFairWork campaign. They describe what it feels like to live on the amount the Scottish Government makes available to our members to pay staff who provide support to some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.  People we all clapped through COVID. The people who might work to support my family or yours.

It’s the quietest national scandal that, behind doors in streets and villages across Scotland, are people who need support to live, to thrive, to be well, to stay independent, who can’t get it because there simply aren’t the staff.

It’s the quietest national scandal that social care and support staff working in our sector – the vast majority of them women – are paid 20% less to deliver public services, from our taxes, than people doing equivalent work in the NHS.

So, at the start of 2023 we decided it was time to stop being quiet and call for better, loudly.

Our demands weren’t huge.  Simply, we wanted all staff to get at least £12 per hour from April 2023 as the first step of a public plan to pay people fairly. A plan to give staff, and the people they support, hope.

And our #4StepsToFairWork campaign began to snowball.

Frontline staff and CEOs from our member organisations stood up and spoke up. And then others joined.  Carer Organisations, Scotland’s Faith Leaders, partner organisations, people with experience of care and support all spoke up through blogs, emails to MSPs, social media posts. I would like to personally thank every one of you who did so.  In a sector, based on the rights of people to exercise choice and control about their own care and support, our diversity and our voice are our strengths.

Then, early in our campaign, our new First Minister stood up to give his first speech to the Scottish Parliament.

We waited.

“Equality, Opportunity, Community” he said. Those are the government’s new priorities.  “That’s social care!”, we thought.

We waited…

A commitment to £12 an hour, he said.  “At last!”, we thought. The voices had been loud enough for him to hear.

But then he gave no date.

A crisis heard, but half a promise made. And a crashing disappointment for the thousands of committed staff in our sector, and to the leaders trying to keep their organisations open.

140 days later the date came in the Programme for Government – £12ph from April 2024. We hoped for a mistake in the speech, but no. A year late and by then, again too little.

And no plan.

Of course I am disappointed that the voices of so many have not resulted in our asks being met in full. That the national scandal of the Scottish Government baking in inequity to social care, and leaving people without the support they need, remains. But is it over? Absolutely not.

The door is open. We just need to push it a bit further.

Your voices were so loud, your arguments so clear, that our new FM knew he had to make a commitment to our sector in his first speech. We shouldn’t ignore this; we should build on it.

For the first time, the pay award has been extended to those working in children’s services: A first inequity addressed through our campaign.

The collective, public, voice of our sector and our allies is building to bring social justice to social care and support. Nurturing that emerging movement in the run-up to elections, as parties set their new priorities, is crucial.

And finally – and importantly – let’s remember that the £12 announcement might be made, but the Scottish Budget is not yet passed.  Every MSP has an opportunity to speak up to call for more, for better.  All of us can still call on politicians, whose core job is to allocate tax payers’ money to fund priorities for our nation, to make a better decision.

So, our #4StepsToFairWork campaign concludes today; but our campaign for better for our sector does not.

Watch this space….

Blogs, video contributions and resources from our 4 Steps campaign (June – October 2023) are available to read here