In its festive campaign this year, Wales’ largest public services union UNISON, is asking people to remember that care work doesn’t stop for Christmas. It is contrasting families sitting down together for dinner with 25 December being a normal day for carers supporting people in their homes and residential centres. UNISON is championing carers as ‘community superstars’.
Carers support older people, those who are physically disabled, individuals with mental health issues and service users who have learning disabilities and difficulties. They will check on the welfare of service users and might help them take medication or prepare their meals. Unfortunately, most are paid the minimum wage of £7.20 per hour and the trade union is campaigning for all carers to be paid at least the real Living Wage of £8.45 per hour.
In a mass leafleting of high streets across Wales, UNISON is asking Christmas shoppers to support their campaign by completing a special campaign postcard. The union says it is essential that councils provide sufficient funding to ensure dignity of care for service users and fair pay for the workforce.