LOW paid care staff are celebrating a "significant" outcome to a pay dispute with a local authority after claiming their roles have become far more complex in recent years.

South Lanarkshire Council, following a successful appeal by workers, will now pay home carers the same hourly rate as staff working in residential homes.

This will mean an increase in hourly pay for home carers by at least £3 an hour after GMB Scotland joined other trade unions to fight the council’s initial decision to refuse the carers equal pay.

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GMB Scotland convenor Harry Scott said some parts of the offer are still under negotiation but described the move as "a very significant and welcome decision."

Mr Scott added: "Home carers do a crucial, difficult job in often fraught circumstances. They have stepped up when asked to do more and take on more responsibilities and it is only right that is recognised in their wages.

"It is absolutely right for them to be paid the same as colleagues working in care homes."

The union argued that a role once known as “home help” had, in recent years, become far more complex with additional responsibilities, including giving personal care, administering medication and drugs, and assisting with medical procedures.

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However, those increased responsibilities had not been reflected in increased pay and, after the unions twice appealed the decision to refuse equal hourly rates for all carers, South Lanarkshire Council has now agreed the increase.

GMB Scotland Organiser Cara Stevenson added: "This is a great achievement for our Home Care members and I am extremely proud of them for carrying on the long fight to get what they deserve.

"I hope other care workers look at this result and are inspired to organise to fight for the same recognition of the vital work they do."
South Lanarkshire Council has been contacted for comment.