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To: Neil Gray MSP, Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery, Health and Social Care


To Neil Gray MSP
Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery, Health and Social Care

I am writing to ask you to return the £38m withdrawn from the Fair Work in Social Care budget.

The implementation of Fair Work in Social Care has been a Scottish Government commitment since 2019. Through this work, sick pay, maternity, and paternity pay were identified as the three initial priorities, and a budget was established for this in 2023.

In September 2023 £38 million pounds was withdrawn by the Scottish Government from the budget allocated to deliver Fair Work in Social Care without consultation with trade unions, employers or local authorities.

In January 2024, notification came that the 2024 allocation of money for decent terms and conditions for care workers from the Scottish Government Budget is £0, no allocation.

That means that thousands of care sector workers in Scotland are only guaranteed statutory sick pay, paternity, and maternity pay and have to choose between going to work while they are sick or feeding families.

That means that infection control systems depends on workers going without pay to keep vulnerable people safe - have we learned nothing from a pandemic?

The withdrawal of this budget detrimentally impacts workers with enhanced terms and conditions and those without, as employers cut one staffing budget to fund another.

This additional financial pressure alongside the enormous challenges facing social care providers across the sector, including all time high vacancy rates and staff turnover, has created a crisis which can only get worse.

Competition for a higher hourly wage rate have created favourable circumstances for the poor employers in the sector to continue to deny their own workforce fair standards of employment and who with the accumulated profit and or savings are able to offer a higher hourly rate.  Incredibly after working together since 2021 to implement Fair Work in the Social Care Sector the Scottish Governments' actions will make work worse for care workers in Scotland.

I therefore ask you as the Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary responsible for Social Care to intervene and provide immediate funding for Fair Work in Social Care and to reinstate the budget for and a plan to implement Fair Work in 2024.

We need urgent action, not broken promises to save the care sector and save lives.

This is a massive blow to the care sector and workers who feel desperately let down by politicians who they put their trust in to deliver for them.   It also feels like a massive step back for Fair Work with the government retreating on its promises.  We need urgent action now!

I am demanding that the Scottish Government:

•              Explain the ‘Missing Millions’ debacle!
•              Restore Fair Work funding for 2023 & 2024 to pay for improved pay and conditions!
•              Commit funds for sectoral bargaining!
•              Deliver £15 per hour for care workers now!

Why is this important?

The Social Care Workforce is more than 80% poorly paid women working in care homes, hospitals, community care and personal assistants. In 2023 £38 million was stolen by the Scottish Government for the budget for care work in social care. The £38m budget was removed without consultation from the terms and conditions working group last September and it took a freedom of information request to flush out it was gone some months later. No transparency, no accountability and worse, no promise of restoring the funding.
This is a massive blow to these low paid care sector workers who feel desperately let down by politicians who they put their trust in to deliver for them
Scotland, UK

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2024-04-12 17:59:02 +0100

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2024-04-11 08:10:26 +0100

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