Importance of union representation for care workers is underlined

Trade Union representation underlined by two local Councillors.
Trade Union representation underlined by two local Councillors.

ISSUES FACE BY people providing care services in Moray are the subject of discussions by member of the local Trade Union Council this week.

Now a call has been issued to those providing care to ensure that they have representation to act on their behalf on issues such as levels of pay, terms and conditions and management pressures.

A meeting of the Moray Trade Union Council heard from two delegates who have significant experience in the sector, who told of the difficulties they and their colleagues faced on a regular basis.

SNP Councillor Patsy Gowans said that the sector experiences issues that go well beyond ‘hard cash’, saying: “The care sector has many dedicated hard working members of staff that deliver a valuable and quality service to their service users.

“Many employees face various pressures but by being a member of an official Trade Union they could be supported. I have worked with and still have close friendships with many carers and know first-hand the quality and value they bring to our communities.

“Carers deserve support to ensure their conditions reflect the vital service they provide across the country as our society could not function without them.”

Labour Councillor John Divers added: “This is beyond simply being about how much carers are paid. We have many hard working carers across our communities who are undervalued and do not receive the support both they and their service users deserve.

“The biggest issue is that often terms and conditions are not negotiated locally and to ensure that Trade Unions are represented they require over 50% of staff to agree in order to have an officially recognised union in the workplace.

“Locally this is difficult but on a national scale it throws up many, many issues. It is vital that across the sector carers support each other to ensure a strong collective voice is put forward to represent members’ views.”

Both local councillors have extensive experience working on the frontline in the Moray care sector, having delivered support to service users from a variety of backgrounds over a number of years.

Both are also members of trade unions and delegates to the Moray Trade Union Council – and see the benefits that collective bargaining and peer support can bring to their understanding and ability to perform what is a vital and ever growing role within communities.

Moray Trade Union Council meets the third Monday of every month at 7.15 in the Seaforth Club in Elgin. Meetings are open to all Trade Union members and supporters. Its future agenda includes meetings with Richard Lochhead MSP and Roddy Burns, Chief Executive of The Moray Council.

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