Citizens UK has launched a campaign for all key workers to be paid a real Living Wage, which includes an online petition to adequately fund social care staff.
The petition appealing for health secretary Matthew Hancock to adequately fund social care and ensure care workers and all social care sector staff get at least the Real Living Wage has been launched by Care Worker Tabitha, who spent 29 days ill with COVID-19 and was left reliant on food donations.
The real Living Wage is set at £9.30 per hour outside London and £10.75 inside the capital.
Care Workers, academics, unions, faith leaders, teachers and others have come together to back this national appeal for better pay and protection for the almost 1 million social care sector workers in care homes and communities.
Over the summer, Citizens UK will launch similar campaign calls and community organising activity to ask employers to pay other key workers on the coronavirus frontline the real Living Wage, ensuring that each key worker, such as the cleaners in our hospitals, schools and public spaces, get pay boosts.
Earlier this week, the Fawcett Society published a survey which showed that the public overwhelmingly want carers to be better paid and better valued.
And in April, the Resolution Foundation published a report which revealed that more than half of frontline care workers are earning less than the real Living Wage.
‘Today we are focusing on the social care sector given the huge rates of infection in the country’s care homes,’ said Citizens UK executive director, Matthew Bolton.
‘These incredible people go out every morning to look after our loved ones, risking their lives to do so, often on the minimum wage. It’s important we take the next few weeks to celebrate our key workers; but also to remember that a real Living Wage should be the least they deserve.’
The Archbishop of York, John Sentamu added: ‘It is just morally wrong to put our care workers on the front line in the face of infection and potential death, with limited personal protective equipment (PPE), and to do that for poverty pay.
‘For me this is simply unacceptable. I hope that if this epidemic teaches us anything, it will be to draw us back to justice, compassion and love. That is why I am proud to support Citizens UK’s campaign for Her Majesty’s Government to prioritise the proper funding of social care, ensuring that every careworker will get paid a real Living Wage.’
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