UNISON reacts as every social care worker in Wakefield district to get £500 'thank you' bonus

'Thank you' bonuses of £500 are to be given to every social worker in Wakefield.

By David Spereall
Thursday, 10th February 2022, 4:11 pm
The bonus is coming from a government fund aimed at retaining staff in the sector, amid a crisis in care.
The bonus is coming from a government fund aimed at retaining staff in the sector, amid a crisis in care.

The cash, which has come from a government fund to help retention in the sector, will be distributed over the coming months.

Care agencies will be duty bound to pass on the money to their staff under conditions specified by Wakefield Council, who will hand out the money.

The bonus is in addition to the 59p-an-hour increase for local care workers announced before Christmas, as it's come from a separate pot.

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Council leader Denise Jeffery said the payment was a "well deserved thank you".

Unions have welcomed the payments, which will go to the district's 5,000 staff in the sector.

Sam Greenwood, UNISON branch secretary for the Wakefield district, said: "More than a decade of under-funding of adult social care by central government has created a crisis.

"There are over 100,000 vacancies in the sector, pay is rock bottom and the work is extremely demanding.

"A long-term solution is needed to address these problems but in the meantime it is vital that any additional funding goes directly into the pockets of care workers who have rightly been hailed as heroes over the last two years.

"We are delighted that Wakefield Labour councillors have decided that this additional funding needs to boost the pay packets of the circa 5,000 low paid, predominantly female workers who care for some of the most vulnerable people in society."

Council leader Denise Jeffery, who formally announced the package at a full council meeting on Wednesday, said: "Care workers have worked unceasingly through the pandemic and this is why I wanted to ensure that every penny of this extra funding would boost their pay packets.

"Wakefield Council value and recognise the efforts of these skilled workers and we don’t want to lose them from the sector.

"This is a way to say a well deserved thank you. We will also continue to urge the government to fund better pay for frontline care workers.”

Local Democracy Reporting Service