GMB Scotland hails equal pay victory for home carers
GMB Scotland has welcomed an equal pay victory for a local authority's home carers but is fighting to ensure it is fairly backdated.
After a successful appeal by trade unions, South Lanarkshire Council has agreed an hourly pay rate of at least £16.24 for home carers to ensure they are paid the same as staff working in residential homes.
The decision will increase hourly pay for home carers by at least £3 an hour after GMB Scotland joined other trade unions to fight the council’s initial decision to maintain different pay rates.
GMB Scotland successfully argued a role once known as “home help” has, in recent years, become far more complex with additional responsibilities, including delivering personal care, administering medication and drugs, and assisting with medical procedures.
However, those increased responsibilities had not been reflected in increased pay and, after the unions twice appealed the decision to refuse equal hourly rates for all carers, South Lanarkshire Council has now agreed the increase.
Home carers rallied at the council HQ in Hamilton yesterday as GMB Scotland called for the new hourly rate of at least £16.24 to be paid retrospectively, potentially triggering payments of more than £10 million.
The council say the pay rise is dependent on staff training for an additional qualification but GMB Scotland, while happy for further training opportunities, insist workers' roles and responsibilities are not changing and wants the pay rise to be backdated to the start of the evaluation process in October 2020.
GMB Scotland convenor Harry Scott said:
““We are happy South Lanarkshire Council has agreed home carers deserve to be paid the same as their colleagues.
“That is right and fair but it is also right and fair for that pay to be backdated to when this process began.
“The pay evaluation was based on what home carers do and have been doing for years not on what they might do one day. The pay must be backdated. It is deserved and we will fight for it.
“Our members will be happy to train for a new qualification but their role and responsibilities are the same today as when this process started.”
GMB Scotland Organiser Cara Stevenson said:
“This is a great achievement for our home care members and I am extremely proud of them for carrying on the long fight to get what they deserve.
"I hope other care workers look at this result and are inspired to organise to fight for the same recognition of the vital work they do.”
Contact: GMB Scotland Communications on 07738 486317 or email email@example.com