UNION chiefs have called on Bolton Council to adopt the ‘real living wage’ for care workers.

Town hall bosses say they are continuing to lobby Whitehall for a better settlement for the borough before ruling on pay issues.

Campaigners from Unison have issued the Bolton demand after their branch in Salford secured an agreement with housing provider Anchor Hanover, resulting in workers receiving at least £9.90 per hour.

Unison is now lobbying other Greater Manchester authorities to do likewise and has been backed by several political figures in Bolton.

Jayne Clarke, Bolton Unison branch secretary, said: “Care workers have done a fantastic job during the pandemic in really difficult circumstances, looking after vulnerable people in our communities. It is a disgrace that care workers are often so poorly paid. This needs to change.

Cllr Sue Sue Haworth, Labour shadow adult services cabinet member, added: “Poverty pay needs to be resigned to the history books and this fantastic success in Salford shows just what can be achieved when skilled campaigners and negotiators work relentlessly for better pay for care workers.

And Cllr Roger Hayes, Bolton Liberal Democrat group leader, said: “It is not just about the money, workers also need to feel valued and recognised in the work they do in supporting some of our town’s most vulnerable people”.

Cllr Andy Morgan, the borough’s adult services cabinet member, said: “We continue to raise the issue of fair pay at a national level, and we are awaiting further details on the borough’s funding allocation before we make decisions on pay for the next financial year.

“Throughout the pandemic we have worked closely with providers in Bolton and have passed Government funding directly to them to support their staffing needs.

“We will shortly be in touch with them about the allocation of the Winter Workforce Grant, which will allow them to plan ahead to retain and recruit more staff to this rewarding and valuable career.”