Unite Scotland has today (20 April) written to Dundee city council leader John Alexander demanding an urgent meeting over the registration fees row facing the city’s care workers.
On Valentine’s Day, Unite Scotland launched its ‘Caring for Carers’ campaign in appreciation and support for care workers in Dundee. The local authority has refused to pay the cost of the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) registration fee and instead intends to impose the costs directly on the low paid care workers who are predominantly female. The annual registration fees start at £25 for all support workers, £35 for residential childcare and schoolcare workers, and for social work mangers and care inspectors there is an annual cost of £80.
Unite’s members have also raised a collective grievance under Dundee city council’s grievance process due to being forced to pay the SSSC registration fee. The union is also drawing attention to the selfless and courageous work that carers are providing during the Covid-19 pandemic and that imposing these costs will leave a ‘very bitter pill’ in the mouths of carers.
Unite regional industrial officer Bob MacGregor said: “Unite is demanding an urgent meeting with the city council’s leadership in order to press our fight that they reverse the ludicrous decision to impose registration fee costs on to carers. How on earth the council thought it was ever a good idea before Covid-19, never mind still maintaining this position during the crisis is staggering. It will be very bitter pill for carers to swallow if they are forced to pay this fee while literally putting their lives on the line right now, and Unite will do everything to secure justice for them.”