Gloucestershire County Councillors have recognised this week the vital role care workers play in society.
They passed a motion this week which acknowledged they have been undervalued in terms of their pay.
And the Government, council and relevant associations should work together to explore and then implement measures to attract and retain care workers.
They believe this should include looking at introducing a carers minimum wage which would see people in social care paid at least £2 an hour more than the national minimum wage.
This would bring their minimum pay up to £11.50 p/h today and £12.42 p/h from April.
County councillor Jeremy Hilton (LD, Kingsholm and Wotton) who put forward the motion said at the council meeting on March 22, said: “Those working in our care sector do a vital job providing personal care for some of the most vulnerable people in our county.
“We all want to know there will be someone looking after our loved ones if they need it – but currently the care sector is under great pressure and people are leaving.
“It is important that as a society we show we value the role our care workers play in our communities, and a guarantee of a living wage would be a good start.
“Between 8000 and 9000 care workers in Gloucestershire would get a pay rise under this plan. The carers living wage is part of a package of Lib Dem proposals to support carers nationally, including support for unpaid carers too.
“We are calling on the Government to fund this before more carers are forced to find other work.”
Adult social care commissioning cabinet member Carole Allaway-Martin (C, Coleford) said she has been talking with those who care for the most vulnerable in Gloucestershire since she worked in the health service and in adult social care.
She explained that one of the issues that keeps coming up is that there are additional things they need.
“They want an increase in pay but they would like it reframed as a salary. They want better terms and conditions of employment and a career pathway and training.
“My suggestion will be that they also need to be recognised for the contribution they make to rehabilitate and sustain the vulnerable people they work and care for. I suggest that we push and push for parity of esteem with their NHS colleagues.”
A friendly amendment by the Conservatives was accepted and the council voted unanimously in favour of the motion.
As a result, the council will write to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Steve Barclay and ask him to review pay in social care.
They will also ask him to commit to a carers minimum wage. Shire Hall will also seek the support of the Local Government Association for the introduction of a carers minimum wage.
And they will pledge support to the Local Government Association’s call for a 10 year workforce plan for Adult Social Care and as a council for seeing a carers minimum wage introduced.