A £20 million pay deal for home carers was sealed yesterday as South Lanarkshire Council agreed to backdate the award after negotiations with GMB Scotland.
A rise of more than £3 an hour for home carers to bring them in line with colleagues working in residential homes will now be backdated from October 2020.
The council’s decision came after GMB Scotland and other staff unions triggered a formal review of the work done by home care staff. The rise will now be backdated to the start of the process.
Around 1000 home carers will now receive the rise and backdated pay with full-time staff receiving payments of around £17,000 along with any money due from overtime worked since October 2020.
Officials estimate the cost of delivering the backdated pay, a decision supported by councillors in the Labour-led local authority, will be £20m while the pay rise will mean an extra £7m being paid to home carers each year. It is hoped workers will receive payments in September,
GMB Scotland, together with other staff unions, had fought the council’s initial decision to reject claims that home care staff deserved the same pay because they did the same work as residential staff in the community.
The trade union argued the workers once known as “home helps” had, in recent years, been given far more complex roles with additional responsibilities, including giving personal care, administering medication and drugs, and assisting with medical procedures.
GMB Scotland convenor Harry Scott said: “We are happy the council has now accepted this pay award should date from the start of the review.
“That is what our members were promised and, as they have shown, they are no longer willing to tolerate broken promises and unfair treatment.
“They have stood united to secure the wages they deserve and their determination to secure equal pay is both admirable and inspirational.”
GMB Scotland organiser Cara Stevenson added: “Home carers in South Lanarkshire, mostly women, often work alone but came together and stayed together to win a significant victory for them and for care staff across Scotland.
“The acknowledgement that they have the same role and responsibilities as colleagues working in residential care and deserve the same pay will reverberate in councils up and down the country.
“Their refusal to accept anything less than they deserved is a source of admiration and pride.”
A joint statement released by the council and trade unions added: “Following trade union representation, a review of the Home Care job evaluation implementation has successfully concluded.
“The council and trade unions have worked intensively, constructively and positively, in partnership, to achieve an innovative solution to a unique set of circumstances which had never previously arisen.
“This has enabled us to positively re-assess the Home Care job evaluation implementation date, which will now be October 2020, whilst at the same time protecting the integrity of our job evaluation scheme.
“We jointly and creatively addressed how competence verification could be achieved while working towards a Level 3 SVQ, recognising the importance of the work undertaken by Home Carers.”
Contact: GMB Scotland Communications on 07738 486317 or email email@example.com