UNION bosses have launched a campaign to demand that care workers are given the pay and conditions their demanding job deserves.

GMB Scotland claims that carers employed by private company Living Ambitions do not receive employer sick pay, adequate holiday pay or hourly rates reflective of their work.

Now the union is petitioning politicians in Glasgow to ask the care company for £10 an hour, 100% sick pay and average earning holiday pay.

Currently staff, who have campaigned on pay and conditions previously, are on £9.30 an hour - less than the national living wage.

The national living wage is a gold standard above the minimum but not a legal requirement.

John Slaven, GMB Organiser, said: “It is quite unbelievable that Living Ambitions workers in our city are denied company sick pay, lose money for taking legal annual leave entitlement and are paid £9.30 for the skilled and vital work they perform.

“It is Glasgow’s secret shame that so much of social care that the city procures is prevaricated on the exploitation and goodwill of these dedicated, mainly woman, workers.

“It is time to take responsibility, it is time to look at how we procure this work, it is time to respect the heroes of covid and the first tiny step is to ensure that these workers receive sick pay, a tenner an hour and get paid average earning when they take a much-needed holiday.”

The Glasgow Times contacted Living Ambitions for comment.

Living Ambitions provides supported living services in more than 50 sites across Glasgow with more than 500 mainly woman workers employed.

Union reps say almost all workers receive £9.30 per hour, no shift allowances or enhanced rates for working nights.

A rise to £9.50 is in the pipeline, but staff said this is not enough given the skills of their jobs.

The union is calling for a rise to £10 an hour, which it wants to eventually rise to £15 an hour.

Living Ambitions staff work with vulnerable adults who have physical or learning disabilities and mental health problems.

Their role involves personal care tasks, giving medicines, taking clients on holiday or to social activities.

They also sleep over at supported living accommodation to provide 24 hour care.

The union said that staff receive only statutory sick pay and so are forced to make the choice between losing money or going to work unwell.

John added: “Make no mistake, this is hard physical, mental and emotionally demanding work that requires high levels of practical skill such as administering medication: but also dealing with complex emotional and mental needs daily.

“This skill and commitment is not reflected in the wages, conditions and respect these essential workers deserve.

“This is intolerable level of disrespect whereby those who put themselves on the line for others are punished for being sick.

“Not only is this morally wrong it is also dangerous as workers are forced to choose between their health and severe financial hardship.”

In 2019 the Glasgow Times told how Living Ambitions workers in Glasgow were holding a picket in George Square over issues with pay.

They said care staff were owed nearly 18 months of backpay, managers were paying loans to staff from their own pockets, and one worker even had to use a foodbank after being repeatedly shorted on her wages.

GMB Scotland members are writing to every councillor, Glasgow MSP candidate and every MP to sign its pledge for Living Ambitions Workers.

Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) contracts Living Ambitions.

A spokeswoman for HSCP said: “We are committed to ensuring that all our commissioned services are enabled to pay the Real Living Wage across their workforce.

"In 2020/21 this resulted in us paying a 3.3% uplift on the contracted hourly rate on condition that providers committed that this would be used to pay their staff the Real Living Wage.

"In line with National Guidance, a similar exercise is currently underway for this financial year.”