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TRADE unionists condemned poverty pay among care workers as “nothing short of disgraceful” today in a campaign to demand that local councils pay them the living wage.
General union GMB has said that many care workers are often paid no more than £7.83 an hour.
Union officials welcomed the announcement that the UK and London living wages rose by 25p and 35p respectively to £9 an hour nationally, and £10.55 in London.
The Living Wage Foundation announced that there are over 4,700 living wage employers across Britain.
However, many council care workers, who are overwhelmingly female, do not receive any living wage and the union suggests that the median hourly rate for care workers in agencies is approximately £7.90 outside of London and £8.20 in London.
GMB regional officer Mick Ainsley said: “It’s nothing short of disgraceful that a mostly female workforce, doing one of the most important jobs in our society, are being discriminated against.
“Care staff, who are predominantly women, are being discriminated against.
“We, the public, expect rightly that care staff should treat those in their care with dignity and give a highly professional service but seemingly are willing to accept that care workers are not treated with dignity or paid as professionals.”
He added that 4,700 employers have recognised that they have a duty to recognise their workers, so “it’s about time our councils and government did the same” as “it’s long overdue that they are recognised.”
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