Over 200,000 social care workers in Scotland could receive a pay rise through the implementation of Scottish Labour’s call for a £15-an-hour wage.
The policy would see an average care worker’s hourly pay increase by 57 per cent.
Statistics obtained by Scottish Labour have shown that 206,400 people work in social care in Scotland with a median wage of only £9.50-an-hour – as such, over 200,000 workers could potentially benefit from Scottish Labour’s budget proposals.
The GMB union, which represents many in the social care sector, has initiated the campaign for a £15-an-hour rate.
Scottish Labour has said that the predominantly female social care workforce has been undervalued and underpaid for too long, and is fighting to make a £15-an-hour wage for all social care workers a reality at this budget.
Scottish Labour interim leader Jackie Baillie said: “Our heroic social care workers, on whom we have all relied during this pandemic, have been undervalued and underpaid for too long.
“Hundreds of thousands of predominantly female social care workers are languishing on poverty pay, while many of those running the companies they work for continue to rake in money hand over fist.
“This must end. It’s time to deliver justice for these vital workers by implementing a £15 an hour rate for all social care workers. Anything less simply fails to reward social care workers for the vital and difficult work that they do.
“At this budget, Scottish Labour will fight to make £15-an-hour for social care workers a reality. We need a budget with fairness at its heart, that delivers a fair recovery for all.”
Rhea Wolfson from GMB Scotland Women’s Campaign Unit added: “There is growing support across the Scottish Parliament for a £15-an-hour minimum wage in social care, more and more MSPs are waking up to the fact we have to properly value these key workers. We are pleased to have Scottish Labour’s support and we now call on other political parties to join the Fight for £15.
“The Feeley Report is clear that every £1 spent on social care generates £2 for the wider economy, so proper value for workers in the social care sector could be transformative for the sector, the economy and help to deliver economic justice for women in Scotland.
“Thousands of GMB Scotland members are Fighting for £15 in order secure recognition for their work and to end the recruitment crisis in care so that they can consistently deliver dignified and compassionate care.”