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#PayThemFairly

#PayThemFairly called on the next Welsh government to increase social care funding for local authorities to ensure the sector is driven by value rather than cost, and to ensure all care workers in Wales receive at least the Real Living Wage.

What is the #PayThemFairly campaign about?

#PayThemFairly took place ahead of the 2021 Senedd elections and in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. It called on the next Welsh government to increase social care funding for local authorities to ensure the sector is driven by value rather than cost, and to ensure all care workers in Wales receive at least the Real Living Wage.

The campaign was supported by organisations across the housing, care and support sectors, including ourselves, Cymorth Cymru, Care Forum Wales, Cartrefi Cymru Co-operative, WCVA Cymru, Wales Coop Centre, Oxfam Cymru and many of our member housing associations.

The manifesto outlined three key asks:

  1. The Real Living Wage must be implemented as a bare minimum, for all care workers in Wales.

  2. There must be funding for progression and differentials based on qualifications, skills and responsibilities.

  3. The Welsh government must increase social care funding for local authorities to ensure the sector is driven by value, rather than cost, and has the resources needed to deliver improved outcomes for citizen users, the workforce and social value to communities.

What difference did the campaign make?

The #PayThemFairly manifesto highlighted issues that went beyond the obvious parameters of the care and support sector, and set out compelling reasons for our asks:

  • Because care work should be valued properly and justly rewarded

  • Because low pay for care discriminates against women

  • Because fair pay for care work will boost the local foundational economy

  • Because the cost of fair pay for care will reduce other costs in the system

  • Because the Fair Work Commission has highlighted the need

  • Because it can be done – with the right approach to funding, fees and wages.

Following a cross-sector social media #FairPayDay, the major parties made pledges and commitments as part of their own manifesto campaigning:

  • Welsh Labour guaranteed the Real Living Wage of £9.50 per hour to all care workers, recognising that the ‘dedication of the social care workforce has inspired a nation’ throughout the pandemic.

  • Plaid Cymru committed to guaranteeing a minimum wage of £10 an hour for care workers. They also pledged to reduce Wales’ gender pay gap by increasing the pay for social care workers, awarding real term wage increases for NHS workers, ending zero-hours contracts, and including the provision of gender balance in public procurement contracts.

  • The Welsh Conservatives committed to introduce a reformed pay and retention settlement for health and social care staff, including on a recruit, retain and retrain policy, and a minimum salary of £10 an hour for care staff.

Where can I find out more?

You can see the manifesto here and follow #PayThemFairly to see the sector’s stories.

How can I get involved?

The campaign ahead of the election has now finished, but you can still get involved in the following ways to ensure commitments translate into action:

Housing associations:

  • sign up as a supporting organisation

  • engage positively with your new members of the Senedd

  • share stories that show the real-life impact of issues such as the recruitment and retention of care workers; unsustainable funding models; and reward and recognition of the social care workforce

Partners:

  • sign up as a supporting organisation

  • talk to us about the role of fair pay for care workers in issues such as the integration of housing, health and social care; the gender pay gap; the foundational economy; and the well-being of Wales