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UNIONS have welcomed the “no-cuts budget” passed by Salford’s left-wing Labour council, which has become the first local authority in Britain to introduce the real living wage for care workers.
Council tax in the city is set to rise by 3.99 per cent under the plans passed on Wednesday.
Care workers were addressed by Salford Mayor Paul Dennett and lead adult services councillor Gina Reynolds, who told them that the council would give supported living workers the real living wage of £9.30 an hour.
The council gave care workers a 10 per cent wage increase in December 2017, with Mr Dennett stressing that the workers are “worth every penny.”
Ms Reynolds said that austerity had had a “disgraceful” impact on care workers’ quality of life.
“I’ve got real concerns for those care staff. They’re on the brink of leaving thanks to what they’re facing,” she said.
Since 2010, Salford has lost £211 million of its central government funding, equating to 53 per cent.
Mr Dennett said this was the first year since then that the council was able to set a budget without making serious cuts.
However, he added the council could not afford to pay £9.30 for supported living workers, lamenting that this was “the reality of 21st-century Britain,” but he pledged to look into it later on in the year.
Salford Unison hailed Mr Dennett’s commitment “as a sign that our campaign is being listened to,” saying that it would consult affected care workers before responding to the council offer.
The Morning Star understands that the next target for campaigners will be to obtain a firm council commitment to raise the money for supported living workers.
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