To: Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care, Kevin Stewart MSP
Solve the staffing crisis in social care
I am deeply concerned about the staffing crisis in Social Care across Scotland.
A lack of respect and fair pay & conditions across the sector over the years has led to such low levels of staff that both service users and staff are being placed in danger.
It is no wonder that the Scottish workforce are either leaving the sector or deciding not to apply to enter the sector given the level of demand being placed not only on those who deliver frontline care, but also those who arrange and support it, for low wages and respect at work.
UNISON’s Social Care Staff Shortage Survey showed that 97% of respondents said that their workplace was currently experiencing a shortage of staff and 90% said that they were concerned about the safety of colleagues and service users.
Even more alarming was that 35% of respondents were considering leaving or actively trying to leave the sector in the coming months and a further 53% told UNISON that they urgently need some time off.
It is clear that we cannot wait for the formation of a National Care Service to solve the problems currently keeping Social Care in crisis. Therefore, we demand, as Minister for Mental Wellbeing & Social Care, that you immediately press your Scottish Government colleagues to introduce:
1. A £2,000 welcome payment to all those applying to jobs in the sector.
2. A £2,000 loyalty payment to all those currently working in the sector.
3. To negotiate with UNISON on introducing a sector wide Unsocial Hours allowance.
4. To negotiate with UNISON on introducing a sector wide Night Shift allowance.
5. Payment of all professional registration fees for staff working in social care.
Why is this important?
I believe that these measures will make working in Social Care an attractive prospect for job seekers and make existing staff feel recognised and respected for the difficult and critical work that they do. This is your opportunity to solve a real crisis and to Keep Carers in Care.