Salford UNISON meeting

Salford UNISON has launched a campaign to get local carers the real living wage.

Picture taken from Salford City Unison Facebook page

The campaign begins with a launch event at The Gilda Brook Social Hall in Eccles on February 15 from 11am.

The event will allow local support and care workers to voice why they believe they deserve better pay.

The mayor, and local commissioners will be in attendance alongside many carers, their families and friends; and service users.

The event is open to the public, and Salford Unison are encouraging people to come and show their support.

Salford carers are currently paid minimum wage, with some working more than 70 hours a week in order to get sufficient pay.

They are fighting for the real living wage of £9.30 an hour, regardless of age.

Matthew Dickinson, 33,  organiser at Salford City Unison, said: “They are paid the minimum wage to do personal care, medication, care plans, trips into society and much more.

“All for only the minimum wage.

“People can go work in Aldi or Tesco and earn more money for sitting on the till, I think its ridiculous.”

The council commissions four large companies which provide contracts for supported tenancies and supported living. UNISON aims to get the council to release more money to these companies, so that they can give their workers better pay.

“Salford Council have lost 53% of their budget since 2010, so because of these drastic cuts, the council have had to outsource its care.

“Unfortunately, it’s a race to the bottom so companies are paying their workers the cheapest they can.

“We need to hold Salford council responsible; we need to them to start showing that they care about these workers again” he said.

Salford Unison hopes this meeting will get the attention of the commissioners, enforcing a change in pay for these workers, who go above and beyond for their job.

Melissa Thomas, 33, a local support worker, said: “I do enjoy my job, but it can get you down. I developed anxiety a couple of years ago, and that was because of my job.

“It’s a job you bring home with you, you literally just can’t switch off from it,” she said.

Melissa has been a support worker for around 9 years, she supports people with learning difficulties who live in their own property.  She works between 60 and 70 hours a week, balancing her job with her family life.

Melissa believes that carers are not given the recognition or pay they deserve, which is resulting in many workers leaving, and a very low number of new employees.

“It’s not worth the money, I think all the time; I could just go and work in McDonalds, I could just go and stack a shelf in Asda. When you compare those jobs to what we do, for the same money, its ridiculous.

“There’s no support. I think it’s important for the staff to have that support because when the staff are happy the tenants are happy. I know people who’d been in this job for 15 years and have left because there’s not enough support or money for the hard job we do,” she said.

These workers are crucial in helping thousands of people, without them many would find day to day life impossible. If you want to help make a change, please attend The Guilda Brook Social Club on February 15 at 11:00am.

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