“We have to make sure that those involved in care are not gleaning profits that end up in the Cayman Islands.”

These words could easily have been uttered by me, my colleagues or any trade union leader up and down the country. I dare say they have at some point. They’re not even the words of a revolutionary leader steeped in anti-capitalist theory. These are, in fact, the words of the now First Minister Humza Yousaf spoken during the SNP Trade Union Group hustings. It’s words we intend on making him keep, turning them into real action for Scotland’s social care workers.

Last week marked the First Minister’s first 100 days in power as well as the 75th anniversary of the NHS. Such figurative passages of time, arbitrary though they are, are routinely packaged up by the commentariat and presented as if they have some significant political meaning. For us, it’s the content and decisions made within that time that’s crucial.

To that end, our movement has already scored a significant victory. The First Minister, within these first 100 days and after listening to our movement, and, crucially, front-line care workers, has agreed to pause the much-beleaguered Scottish Government National Care Service Bill. It took a while, and came after repeated warnings from unions, but it is a welcome pause. It allows for the conversation to be reset and for unnecessary heat to be taken out of discussions. It is an encouraging sign of a responsibly-led government that policy, especially something as massive as a redesigned system of social care in Scotland, isn’t done on the hoof or pushed through to suit parliamentary or political timeframes.

Social care matters. It touches every corner of Scotland. It’s as applicable to families in every community, irrespective of class or background. We all know someone who has been in receipt of care. The bonds that are forged between carer and care receiver are incalculable and the workers within the system cannot be praised highly enough.

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Praise doesn’t pay the bills though. It’s simply not good enough for politicians to seek to build a supposed national system of care and not give clear career pathways, manageable conditions and, of course, decent rates of pay – £15 per hour at least – to the workers who will form the bedrock of their care plans.

We need only look to the recently-celebrated 75th anniversary of the NHS to see what can be achieved if we embrace the notion of people before profit. Nationalised healthcare, free at the point of need, has created a bond between state and citizenry that has lasted for generations and will last for years more if there are people willing to fight for it. The NHS might have its problems, but that is about levels of funding, not how it is organised. The fight for a properly-funded NHS and a Scottish National Care Service go hand in hand. The STUC has shown the Scottish Government through our tax proposals how we can afford to build a country that funds our public services properly and rewards the public servants that uphold those services.

The Scottish Government has an incredible opportunity to revolutionise social care in Scotland, creating a system that puts people first and removes profit. The First Minister is right: after all, it’s not those who bank in the Cayman Islands, or anywhere else for that matter, that should be ripping cash from our communities receiving care.

Makes no bones about it, that’s what is happening in Scottish social care right here right now. Launched last year, The STUC report, "Profiting from Care: why Scotland can’t afford privatised social care" laid it all out. Scotland’s large private social care providers are associated with lower wages, more complaints about care quality, and higher levels of rent extraction than public and third sector care providers. In other words, private social care is worse for workers, worse for patients and worse for the taxpayer.

The Government knew this, yet initially it ploughed on ahead. It took months of sustained pressure including a coincidental change in occupancy within Bute House for us to achieve this longer pause in proceedings. What cannot happen now is for this pause to equate to inaction. There have been too many policy failures from the Scottish Government for this to be the next of an inglorious bunch; social care is too important. The next 100 days and beyond must set us on the road to getting the reform of social care right even if the timing is inconvenient for politicians. This summer, the Scottish Government is hosting a series of regional forums as part of the development of the National Care Service.

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The STUC will engage in good faith and ensure that workers take their hard-won seat at the table. We would ask the Scottish Government, in that same spirit, to not use these events as a façade. No tinpot PR listening exercise will placate us. Workers' voices should be heard.

What does that mean? It means delivering social care locally and retaining jobs within local authorities; it means taking meaningful action on care providers who extract profit from our care sector and don’t redistribute that wealth; it ultimately means building a national care system that upholds Fair Work, includes collective bargaining and provides a gold-standard for workplace terms and conditions.

This is all achievable. Designing anything less than the highest standard of social care isn’t down to a lack of powers, it’s down to a lack of political will.

We need ambition from the Scottish Government. We need to show the powers of our Parliament in all their glory. Building a not-for-profit, fully nationalised social care system can be a shining legacy of our devolution. Scotland’s workers are on board with that. We’re willing to fight for it. We just need that same desire to be matched inside Holyrood.

Roz Foyer is General Secretary of the Scottish Trades Union Congress