Members agree £2,500 pay rise for carers
Care workers employed by the local authority will receive a £2,500 per year pay rise with immediate effect.
At a special meeting of Full Council on April 4, Members agreed to a market forces supplement to be reviewed on an annual basis. The sum will apply pro rata to all care posts from April 1. Cllr Fran Grottick said during the discussion: "I'm sure we all deeply regret the ongoing uncertainty for Park House residents and their families at the moment and we hope this contributes to the maintenance of the service that we all support." She said that she would like to have the pay rise reviewed on a yearly basis rather than the six months recommended in the report, in order to give a "little bit of certainty" to staff. Cllr Mollie Peacock said: "I would like to thank the staff at Park House for everything they've done, they've really pulled out the stops. I'm glad to see it personally but also for perception of our community." She said she hopes that the next council, to be elected on May 4, will be looking at "housing for people that need it". On the subject of housing, Cllr James Francis said: "I have had discussions with Cllr Sims and other councillors that I thought it may be a good idea to purchase a house to alleviate the current accommodation situation for the staff at Park House and I haven't seen any mention of it in this paper." Council chairman Amanda Martin said the possibility was not part of the current agenda but would be discussed at an informal meeting immediately afterwards. She continued: "I think it's safe to say that whether it be Park House or an alternative premises, we are looking at integrated care facilities, we are looking at a way forwards, we're working with partners, and we're taking this matter very, very seriously. "We have a firm commitment from this Council, which one hopes will go on forever, to safeguard the interests of the vulnerable in our community. That is what defines us. It should not change no matter who sits around this table." Vice-chair Steve Sims added: "It's worth reminding ourselves and the public that this Council, possibly uniquely in the UK, increased adult social care funding this year.... A lady recently said to me regarding Park House and its possible closure, "What is the Council for?". Really it's about more than roads and potholes and rubbish; [Park House] is a fundamental part of the community and everyone on the council wants to keep it going. It's a good question to keep in mind. 'What's the Council for?'" Proposals for a pro rata supplement of £2,500 per year for all care staff to be reviewed on an annual basis were passed unopposed. The pay rise will affect 20 posts from carer to care manager, an increase of £50,000 on the current Park House budget. This sum will be "directly supported" by the additional £43,398 allocated for Adult Social Care as a result of the Chancellor's budget.