CARE workers deserve a pay rise along with doctors, teachers and police officers, according to Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson.
The Champion reported ;ast month how public sector workers are to be given an above-inflation wage increase of up to 3.1% in recognition of their "vital contribution" during the coronavirus pandemic.
However, care workers were not included and Mr Esterson claims government funding for local authorities should be increased to cover a pay rise for these staff members, who he said have been “at the forefront of the Covid crisis".
The Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced recently that the armed forces, teachers, police officers, the National Crime Agency, prison officers, doctors and dentists, the judiciary, senior civil servants and senior military personnel would all get pay rises.
Mr Esterson said: "It is right to recognise the work of these public sector employees, as many of them have been working flat out during the coronavirus pandemic and have often found themselves in high-risk situations.
“But where is the pay rise for carers, who have looked after the thousands of elderly who have been hit by this deadly virus, and have worked tirelessly to keep others safe? They have been at the forefront of the Covid crisis. It is scandalous that carers have been missed yet again.
"These are some of the lowest paid workers doing one of the most difficult jobs. They deserve a rise too. But local authority budgets have been slashed over the last ten years which has suppressed wages in this important sector.”
The MP recently visited Formby Manor Care Centre, where he praised the “compassion and dedication” shown by care home staff during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The MP spoke to staff, thanking them for their hard work during the coronavirus crisis.
Mr Esterson told staff: “Thank you to you all for your hard work, compassion and dedication. This has been an incredibly difficult time for everyone but carers especially. Contrary to what the Prime Minister had to say with his shameful comments about care homes, I know how hard you and staff in care homes across the constituency have worked to protect not only your residents here but each other and the wider community too. You have gone above and beyond.
“The care sector has for too long been viewed as secondary to our wonderful NHS, but through this crisis it has shown what carers and those they care for have always known. Carers are just as important. Our NHS would not be able to function without our residential and home care workers.”
Formby Manor Care Centre manager Debra Roose added: “The comfort, safety and happiness of our residents is of utmost importance here at Formby Manor and it is wonderful to have the team’s compassion and dedication recognised by Mr Esterson during his visit.”