Faith leaders met together in June 2023 under a joint initiative hosted by the Catholic Church and the Church of Scotland, to launch a campaign to unite the views of the faith communities on an urgent call to Scottish Government for fair pay to all social care workers.
The campaign sits within a backdrop of a national recruitment crisis. While recruitment issues exist for many industries, the challenge for third sector providers is made particularly difficult by the fact there is a recognised delay to deliver a promise of fair pay to the social care workforce.
Community Integrated Care recently commissioned a report Unfair to Care which highlights that shortages of staff and inconsistencies in staffing are cutting across the nature of the care and support that is being able to be provided. It is having an effect on the choices that people can make and the activities that are on offer as well as a knock-on effect on good communications between supported people and those supporting them.
Longer term reform is needed and is currently being worked through the Scottish Parliament by way of the National Care Service Bill. Despite some recent welcome additions from the Scottish Government, an immediate review for fair pay for social care is required to ensure that we retain a sector that is viable for years to come.
The event heard from Viv Dickenson CEO of CrossReach who highlighted the challenges being faced and outlined how the sector is responding in a number of ways. This includes further campaign work with CCPS and Scottish Care. The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and the Archbishop of Glasgow spoke as faith leaders offering the biblical view that as people of God we are called to repair the world on behalf of the unheard communities. Valuable perspectives were also heard from people working within the sector. Watch highlights from the event and hear from the speakers.
The event concluded with the signing of a declaration by The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and the Archbishop of Glasgow.
- We believe in the importance of human dignity. We honour those people who serve, care for and support others so that this dignity can be respected and that all may have fullness of life. We thank them for their time, hard work and compassion
- We believe in fairness and justice, and believe that all staff working in social care in Scotland today should be paid fairly for this fundamentally important work. We recognise the challenges today facing social care staff and providers, following the difficult years of the Covid-19 pandemic, the cost of living crisis and the current challenges with recruitment.
- We call on church and faith communities to encourage and support advocacy and fundraising and for better social care in Scotland. We recognise recent commitment made to the Adult Care Workforce but call on the Scottish Government to do everything within its power to ensure all frontline social care workers be paid a minimum of £12 per hour immediately, and that the appropriate funding is made available which allows all social care staff to be recognised for their skills, experience and contributions, in whichever role they serve.
The declaration is now closed to signatures. Thank you to all those who have signed this and supported the campaign to date.