Leeds City Council Leader Keith Wakefield today signed UNISON's Ethical Care Charter. He was joined by UNISON Assistant General Secretary Cliff Williams.
The formal charter calls for companies that provide care services to minimise zero hours contracts, pay at least the average national minimum wage and move quickly to paying the living wage of £7.85 an hour.
It also signs the Council and UNISON up to ensuring proper training for all carers. Only fully trained staff can provide the levels of care which people need and deserve.
Cliff Williams said: “The issue of how society cares for its growing number of vulnerable people is at the top of the political agenda.
“Our members working for Care UK in Doncaster highlighted the scandal of wage cuts and inadequate resources and training from private care providers.
“What they fought against so courageously is a huge problem throughout the country and I am delighted that, as the biggest city so far to sign up to UNISON’s charter, Leeds City Council is setting a national example.”
UNISON Regional Organiser Dean Harper said: “Historically care workers have been undervalued and underpaid, and compelled to work under enormous strain to meet the demands placed on them.
“This charter aims to stop and reverse that situation.
“These are dedicated and caring people whose clients depend on them for their quality of life.
“I am delighted the Council has seen how important this charter is, now and into the future, to make the best care available to all, provided by properly trained and rewarded carers.
“They deserve the utmost respect from society as a whole.”