#stuc19 UNISON won backing from Congress to campaign against privatisation of health and social care services and for investment in our social care workforce in line with fair work principles.
The STUC will also campaign for an adoption of UNISON’s Ethical Care Charter for all public bodies who commission or provide heath and social care services.
Moving the motion, UNISON Convener Lilian Macer spoke to the findings of the Fair Work Convention’s Inquiry into social care in Scotland, which found that social care workers, mainly women, face excessive shifts and unfair working conditions.
The Inquiry has called for the Scottish Government to support a sector level body to ensure an effective voice for workers in the social care sector. This body should establish a minimum fair work contract to underpin the commissioning of social care services.
“These changes would put an end to exploiting workers in social care through zero hours contracts and employers expecting staff to work excessively long hours.”
Lilian called for women’s skills and labour to be better valued – a theme that has permeated this Congress. She told delegates that there is a dedicated workforce in social care but they have precarious contracts of employment, and little power or influence.
She called on society and politicians in Scotland to value social care and to reverse the trend of subjecting our most vulnerable citizens to the vagaries of the market, where workers wages and terms and conditions are driven down even further.
Lilian warned that “the social care sector faces a perfect storm in which the impact of years of chronic underfunding has been worsened by increasing demand and the knock on impact of cuts to other key public services.
“This has produced a situation in which the needs of society’s most vulnerable people are not being met and in which care workers are almost universally underpaid, largely undervalued and often exposed to exploitation,” said Lilian, calling for action to drive forward improvements based on fair work principles and the adoption of UNISON’s Ethical Care Charter.