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Date: Monday 17 March 2014

Renfrewshire Council leader shows the way by committing to Ethical Care Charter on World Social Work Day

Renfrewshire Council are leading the way in the commissioning of homecare services with the Leader of the Council committing to supporting the UNISON Ethical Care Charter on World Social Work Day (Tuesday 18 March 2014) .

The Charter sets minimum standards to protect the dignity and quality of life for people who need homecare. It commits councils to buying homecare only from providers who give workers enough time, training and a living wage, so they can provide better quality care for thousands of service users who rely on it.

Mark Ferguson, Branch Secretary of Renfrewshire UNISON and Chair of UNISON’s Scottish Local Government Committee, said:

“UNISON members working in Renfrewshire Council are proud that their council is leading by example, committing to our Charter that tackles the problems with homecare contracts head on. Making this commitment to decent employment conditions for care workers is all about improving the quality of life for the people they care for. A living wage, more secure employment and time to care will help make it possible for dedicated care workers to stay in the job and focus on giving the best possible care."

Renfrewshire Council Leader Councillor Mark Macmillan said:

"I am delighted to be able to support UNISON's Ethical Homecare Charter. Home carers do a vital job helping older and vulnerable residents live with dignity and independence in their own home. We believe clients benefit from a higher quality of care when properly rewarded home carers take pride in the work they do. Renfrewshire Council pays its own home care workers the living wage and we successfully negotiated with employers in the private sector to pay their 300 staff the living wage too.”

Dave Watson UNISON Scotland Head of Bargaining and Campaigns said:

‘UNISON Scotland congratulates Renfrewshire Council and the hard work of UNISON members. It is a real example how unions work in partnership with councils to make sure we really deliver for those we care for. It’s also a positive response to the issues raised by care staff in our recent ‘Scotland – It’s Time to care’ report”.

Ethical Care Councils pledge to commission care only from providers who:

• Give workers the freedom to provide appropriate care and be given the time to talk to their clients.
• Allocate clients the same homecare worker(s) wherever possible.
• Do not use zero hour contracts.
• Pay the Living Wage (£7.65 per hour)
• Pay homecare workers for their travel time, their travel costs and other necessary expenses such as mobile phone use.
• Schedule visits so that homecare workers are not forced to rush their time with clients or leave their clients early to get to the next one on time.

ENDS

For further information contact:
Dave Watson, UNISON Head Bargaining and Campaigns 07958 122409
Mark Ferguson, chair of UNISON’s Local Government Committee, 0777 334 2570
Trisha Hamilton, UNISON’s communication officer, 0141 342 2877

Notes to Editors:

1. Cllr. Macmillan will indicate his support for the Ethical Care Charter at 10am on Tuesday 18 March - World Social Work Day - at UNISON Office, Sir James Clark Building, Business Centre, Seedhill, PAISLEY PA1 1TJ

2. The Charter was developed following UNISON's UK 'Time to Care' report in 2012 can be read; http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/ socialwork/Final%20Ethical%20Care%20Charter%20PDF.pdf

3. The concerns of care staff in Scotland are set out in, ‘Scotland – It’s Time to Care’ http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/socialwork/timetocare.pdf


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