Union warns care sector at risk of 'collapse' as workers head to Westminster
Care workers from across Norfolk are heading to Westminster today to demand greater support for a sector they fear is close to collapse.
Union leaders claim long-standing problems in the sector have been exposed by the coronavirus crisis and vacancies are already rising.
Unison members are due to meet MPs to call for urgent action on both staff pay and wider funding of the sector as a whole.
Regional organiser Cameron Matthews said: “Government ministers couldn’t show enough support for care workers during the pandemic but have done precious little to put more cash in their pockets.
“But these care workers aren’t just going to the heart of government for a pay rise, they’re going because unless the sector gets the support it needs, the whole system could collapse.
“That would be a disaster not only for the staff, but for Norfolk’s most vulnerable residents: the nearly 40,000 people across the county who rely on adult social care services.
“We hope MPs listen to care staff’s concerns and take urgent action to tackle this crisis.”
Last month, Norfolk County Council raised its share of council tax by just under three per cent as part of a budget which it says will see millions more pumped into care.
But it has also warned that Government plans to raise National Insurance contributions next month are unlikely to help because the extra cash will go to the NHS first.
Unison says it and employers agree there is a serious problem both recruiting and retaining staff, while a senior County Hall official has also warned the sector faced a "perfect storm" on staffing.