Suffolk care workers lobby councillors

People on a march for social care staff through Ipswich

Suffolk care workers and their supporters will protest outside Thursday’s full council meeting demanding more is done to support social care.

The union is ringing the alarm bell about the numbers of staff leaving the sector. A Skills for Care report last month showed that staff turnover rates for social care in England were at 30% for 2021/22, while staff numbers are at their lowest levels since 2017/18.

UNISON will also ask councillors to support a motion from Labour’s Sandy Martin, calling on the council to invest more in recruitment and retention for social care and identify pay levels within the county which would stem the flow of staff out of the sector.

Mr Martin will be one of the speakers at Thursday’s rally outside Endeavour House, alongside UNISON officials and Suffolk care workers sharing their experiences from the pandemic and beyond.

UNISON Eastern regional organiser Winston Dorsett said: “Social care has been limping along close to collapse for years. It’s barely able to handle the twin blows of the pandemic and cost of living crisis in such quick succession.

“People who love their jobs and love making a difference for Suffolk’s most vulnerable residents are flooding out of the sector because they just can’t afford to live on the wage any more.

“Suffolk County Council recognises there’s a problem, but urgently needs to do more to support the recruitment and retention of care staff.”

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