Sheffield’s frontline social care workers have been promised a multi-million salary investment by city councillors but fee rates for care services are set to rise.
Due to materialize from April 12, the £4.2m investment which was approved at last week’s Cabinet meeting is due to enable Council commissioned and Council funded providers of community, nursing, and residential care to increase staff salaries.
Responding to the decision, Labour party candidate for Crookes and Crosspool Ruth Milsom said: “I think right at this point in time it’s desperately needed and possibly overdue although there are huge limits on what local authorities can do in terms of spending.
“We’ve got a lot of people working below the real living wage at the moment in social care, it’s well known and it’s universal really across the sector that wages are generally low and the contracts are unstable. For people generally trying to pay their rent or pay their mortgage or pay the bills, it’s extremely unstable work really.”
Across the 2021-2022 financial year, fee rates for Council contracted care homes, home care, extra care, supported living and day activity providers in Sheffield are due to increase.
“The aim is to bring wages up to a real living wage, to the foundation living wage. That’s not set by the government, that’s set by the Living Wage Foundation and the figure that they cite is always above what the government says is the living wage. That’s the aim and this is the first step towards it,” Ms Milsom added.
During last week’s meeting, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care Coun George Lindars-Hammond outlined the council’s ambition to transform Sheffield’s social care sector following the “tragedy of Coronavirus.”
He said: “I want to thank all care workers and providers for their hard work and commitment for caring for our loved ones throughout this pandemic. You really are frontline heroes.
“Care work is one of the most important jobs in our community and we want to ensure that they are rewarded, that is why we are investing £4.2 million today in raising the pay for frontline care workers.”