Published on: 18th December 2020

Over 3,000 care workers in Salford have been given a pre-Christmas pay rise thanks to the city’s ambition to become the first Living Wage city in England.

Salford City Council and Salford NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) set aside £1 million in 2020/21 for care workers employed to support vulnerable people to receive an increase. Their hourly rate is now £9 to £9.30 an hour, a step towards them all receiving the full real Living Wage of £9.50 per hour.

The Salford Offer has been offered to all contracted adult social care providers in Salford including people who arrange their own care through a direct payment and those people who are employed as Shared Lives Workers to deliver care to vulnerable adults.

City Mayor Paul Dennett said the decision to raise the hourly rate was taken before the pandemic but has even more significance now.

“Care workers do a fantastic job in helping people stay well and safe in their own homes and we have never appreciated that more than this year,” he said.

“Our aim is for them all to be paid the full real Living Wage rate of £9.50 an hour and this is another step towards that.”

Dr Tom Tasker, Chair of Salford CCG, said: “Social care workers play a critical role in looking after Salford’s most vulnerable people and making sure they are receiving the best care within the community.

“I’m delighted that they are to be paid a higher and fairer wage for what can be a challenging and demanding job, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. We recognise that this isn’t yet in line with the real living wage, but it is a step in the right direction as we continue to work on providing carers with a wage that is in line with real living costs.”

The real Living Wage is independently calculated based on what people need to meet the true cost of living and is upgraded every year to reflect increases in living costs.

Salford is the fastest growing economy in Greater Manchester but nearly 40% of the workforce (44,600 people) in Salford earn below the real Living Wage, compared to 30% nationally.

An action group of representatives from the private, public and voluntary and community sectors and local trades unions has spent the last year working with local employers to raise awareness and pay rates and has already seen the number of accredited Living Wage employers increase from 38 in 2019 to 47 in 2020.

The ambition is to increase that to more than 70 businesses by 2022 which could double the number of people paid the real Living Wage from 10,000 to 20,000.