Liberal Democrats call for “Carer’s Minimum Wage” as 442 vacancies revealed in Oldham

Oldham’s Liberal Democrat Leader councillor Howard Sykes MBE has called for a higher minimum wage for care workers in Oldham to help tackle chronic staff shortages in social care.

Councillor Sykes said, “Too many people in Oldham are left stranded in hospital beds because there aren’t enough carers to look after them at home or in a care facility. This care backlog is contributing to record-breaking waiting times in A& E and dangerous Ambulance delays. The fact that there are 442 care vacancies across Oldham shows that we need to urgently address pay for our carers. The council needs to call for a proper carers minimum wage in Oldham and start leading by example.”

Howard Sykes, looking out across Shaw

Across the country, care vacancies currently stand at 165,000 – an increase of 55,000 on last year according to ‘Skills for Care’ workforce data.

Under Liberal Democrat proposals, social care workers would be paid at least £2 per hour more than the current minimum wage, bringing their pay to at least £12.42 from this April.

Speaking on Oldham Council’s budget plans in March, councillor Sykes said, “We urge Oldham to get behind our plan for a carers minimum wage of £12.42 because it would be transformative for the caring professions that we all know are under-valued and under-incentivised.

If the government and councils are serious about addressing the crisis in social care, then the first step is to be able to recruit and retain carers. Without proper pay, real carer progression and top-quality training and support, we will continue to see a mass exodus from caring professions.”

“These are highly skilled, mentally and physically demanding jobs that are only going to become more and more integral to our society in the coming years. Care workers deserve pay that reflects this.”

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