‘Golden hello’s and loyalty payments needed for social care staff’ union to tell Holyrood..

Staff shortages in social care at ‘critical level’ union to tell Holyrood committee.

Staff shortages have left the social care sector in crisis care workers union UNISON Scotland will tell Holyrood’s Health and Social Care Committee today (TUES). They will argue that action is needed now to deal with shortfalls and that this should involve not just better rates of pay but ‘golden hello’s’ and ‘loyalty payments’ for those already in the sector.

The calls from the union are being made following the results of a UNISON survey of care; 97% of respondents said that their workplace was currently experiencing a shortage of staff. 90% said that they were concerned about the safety of colleagues and service users because of the staff shortage and 35% said that they were considering leaving the sector.

John Mooney, UNISON Scotland lead officer for care said in advance of the committee meeting.:

“Everyone knows things are difficult in Social care – but the results of our survey are truly alarming. As the Covid-19 pandemic continues and remains with us during the flu season, this staffing crisis has the potential to become a very real health crisis for those receiving, and working in, social care. Care workers are getting burnt out coping with the issues that understaffing causes to the extent that almost aa third of the workforce are considering leaving.

We need urgent action from authorities at every level to keep carers in care – this can’t wait for a new national care service. We need action that will get us through the winter. We are suggesting golden hellos and loyalty payments. People need more than claps and rainbows – and politicians need to actually value carers rather than just saying they value them”

Notes for editors.

UNISON surveyed Social Care workers across all sectors ( Private , 3d sector , Health & Local Govt). over 2500 responses were received.

Headline figures included

90% said they were concerned about staff shortages

96% said that their employer had a staff shortage

35% of respondents said they were considering leaving their job.

John Mooney: UNISON lead officer for social care will be a witness before the Scottish Parliament Health and Social care Committee meeting beginning 0900 Tues9th November

Details here https://www.parliament.scot/chamber-and-committees/committees/current-and-previous-committees/session-6-health-social-care-and-sport-committee/meetings/2021/hscss62110/agenda

UNISON written submission to the committee is here https://www.parliament.scot/~/media/committ/1416

Further info:

John Mooney, Lead officer Social Care 07976701823

Trisha Hamilton, Comms officer 07943 507 307

Stephen Low , Policy Officer 07956 852 822