'Undermined' care workers march through Ipswich for fair pay

Unison march in Ipswich for fair wages for carers and health workers

The 'You Care, We Care' march was organised by UNISON's Suffolk County branch - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

Today determined care workers marched through the streets of Ipswich - demanding a "real living wage and proper sick pay."

The 'You Care, We Care' march organised by UNISON's Suffolk County branch, started outside the New Wolsey Theatre.

Unison march in Ipswich for fair wages for carers and health workers

The 'You Care, We Care' march was organised by UNISON's Suffolk County branch - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

It then made its way through the town to the University of Suffolk where care workers made impassioned speeches at a rally. 

One of those sharing their view was Amila Perera from Red Lodge, who has has 11 years experience working in health and social care. 

Unison march in Ipswich for fair wages for carers and health workers

Carers on Ipswich Cornhill demanding a living wage and proper sick pay - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

Speaking ahead of the rally Mr Perera, who works as a utility manager whilst still doing shifts as a carer, said: "I mainly work in a domiciliary care environment.

"Over the past few years I have experienced a huge change in my career, more and more legislations have kicked in.

"More and more work has been put into the job role everyday and it never reflects on our salary.

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"We get undermined by the government who say we are unskilled workers."

Mr Perera is "passionate" about the job role of carers and believes that pay uplifts given to care organisations are not filtered down to care workers.

"Let Suffolk be the first to say if they are giving an uplift to a profitable care organisation the uplift they are giving should be specifically put towards staff salaries, rather than organisational development." 

Unison march in Ipswich for fair wages for carers and health workers Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Carers from across Suffolk took part in the march through Ipswich, which finished with a rally outside the University of Suffolk - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

Alex Vlad, 62, is a care support worker from Bury St Edmunds who also joined the 'You Care, We Care' march and rally.

Miss Vlad said she is "living from one pay check to another" and has no ability to save, due to her low wages. 

She added: "The person I'm supporting is a very sweet person. I really enjoy working with him and I do my best and think I have succeeded in making his life a bit better." 

Unison march in Ipswich for fair wages for carers

The march started outside the New Wolsey theatre in Ipswich - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

Miss Vlad added: "I hope the march shows we are united and hopefully our voices will be taken into account." 

Unison Suffolk County branch secretary Neil Bland said: "Care workers kept services going despite poverty pay and unimaginable stress levels during the peak of the the pandemic.

"The clapping may have stopped but care staff haven't. They're still going into care homes or travelling to vulnerable peoples' houses every day to care for Suffolk's most vulnerable residents. 

"The least they deserve is enough to pay to make ends meet." 

Rod, Adam and Adria. Unison march in Ipswich for fair wages for carers and health workers

Rod, Adam and Adria at the UNISON carers march through Ipswich - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND


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