Unite calls for protection guarantees in the National Care Service

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Unite Scotland press release

Following on from the independent evaluation of the Scottish Government’s consultation on the creation of a National Care Service by 2026, Unite the Union has today (Monday 14th February) issued a stark warning to the Scottish Government that there should be no dismantling of the NHS or Local Authorities when developing a National Care Service.

The evaluation identified that the consultation was rushed through, with vague and unclear questions. However, what was clear is that workers, organisational bodies, and service users have identified the level of care currently provided is not good enough.

Unite is demanding that proper funding is afforded to these areas to address these needs.

Pat Rafferty, Secretary for Unite Scotland, said:

This consultation has identified that there is need for improvement, but that can only come if there is proper investment in the service. NHS and Local Authorities have suffered severe underfunding for the past 10 years and, as a result, services have obviously been negatively impacted.

The new National Care Service has got to be democratically accountable and delivered locally, for the benefits of communities and service users.

Our NHS and Local Authorities are currently the backbone of care in Scotland and this should be built upon, not diluted. This cannot be a vehicle for the further expansion of privatisation, with private companies who are profit driven at the expense of care, gaining more profitable contracts which ultimately leave a greater burden on Public Services.

Unite’s call is for the following principles in the National Care Service:

  • A properly funded and publicly owned National Care Service which involves participation from the trade unions and local government.
  • A minimum of £15 an hour for all social care workers.
  • A minimum floor of terms and conditions for all social care workers, which includes two 30 mins paid rest breaks, access to enhanced sick pay, and consistent provision of pensions.
  • The establishment of collective bargaining in all areas of social care services, including the Third sector and private sector.
  • The Scottish Social Services Council registration fee to be fully funded by the Scottish Government.

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