Unite Scotland has today (29 March) launched a manifesto for Social Care Workers ahead of the Scottish parliament elections on 6 May. The trade union will be electronically mobilising its membership to ask parliamentary candidates to support the manifesto demands, as the nation’s social care sector is set to become a key issue during the election campaign following a year of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The manifesto’s five demands are:

  • 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.

Unite will also be running a social media campaign showcasing the lives of those who work in the social care sector, and those in receipt of care asking the Scottish public to get behind the trade union's manifesto and to make it a decisive factor in their voting decision.

Unite has launched the manifesto stating that the recommendations from the Independent Review of Adult Social Care in Scotland –The Feeley Report – ‘didn't go far enough’ in addressing the chronic levels of low pay, the disparity in terms and conditions between those working in social care, and the lack of investment in the sector. At present there are currently no sectoral agreements in place for Third sector care workers.

Unite Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty said: “Unite Scotland has launched our manifesto for Social Care Workers in Scotland because the state of the sector needs to put centre stage of this election campaign. There is no issue of greater importance than the quality of life of our loved ones in receipt of social care, and how we reward and value those who give that care. The last year has put that reality firmly in our heads.

"Unite will be asking all parliamentary candidates during the election campaign to support our manifesto, and crucially we are asking the Scottish public to make investment and the quality of social care a key issue in their voting decision. We believe that this manifesto addresses the inequalities in the sector and it deals with the shortcomings in the recent Feeley Report which we believe didn’t go far enough. The nation’s social care system needs a radical overhaul which must be properly funded by government."