Care Workers ‘Undervalued and Underpaid’

Care Workers in focus

Care workers are undervalued and underpaid, in spite of providing an increasingly skilled and demanding service in a sector which suffers from  privatisation and rising cuts. At the September meeting of Bridgwater Trades Union Council, delegates and supporters heard first-hand from a care worker in Bridgwater, about the long hours, gruelling work and lack of respect suffered by workers who, often with very little training are expected to deal with the whole range of physical and mental needs of people in care.

“This isn’t just since the pandemic”, said the speaker. “We have been suffering these problems for decades. I have, on occasions, worked 27 hours non-stop, and once risked my job by refusing to give medication, because I am not trained to do so. That was the responsible thing to do. There is an estimated 50% staff turnover in the private care sector, which is bad for both workers, the people in their care, and their families. The solutions are clear. Care workers must receive a Living Wage and the training relevant to the highly professional work they are asked to carry out. There must be a fundamental reform of the Care Service. Care of the elderly and vulnerable should not be left to profit-making enterprises.”

Labour Support for Trades Council Position

Cllr Alexia Bartlett – ‘Care workers need a decent wage’

Sedgemoor Labour councillors have supported the Trades Council position with Shadow Portfolio for Communities and Wellbeing Cllr Alexia Bartlett (Bridgwater Dunwear) saying “It is nothing short of appalling that Care Workers are not paid a decent wage in line with the demands of their role. Work of this level also requires experience and skill and yet employees are expected to “jump in at the deep end” with the most basic of training – if any at all. It is vital therefore, that new staff are offered more than adequate professional training to enable them to face the demands of their position, along with a wage commensurate with the role.”

Join a Trade Union

Care work under scrutiny

The GMB union has produced a Charter for Ethical Home Care, which calls upon local authorities to make a commitment to improving home care.   See  .

Care workers are advised to join a trade union, to organise and fight collectively for better training and conditions. For details see:

Bridgwater Trades Union Council exists to bring together workers from local workplaces, to support each other and campaign on workplace and community issues. For more details contact Secretary, Dave Chapple:

Email:   Tel. 07707 869144

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