A protest was held calling for all care workers to be paid the real living wage.

The protest was held as councillors were attending a meeting at the town hall.

Unison Bolton branch organiser Ryan Quick, says that care workers have still ‘not been paid the real living wage they were promised in February’.

Bolton Council revealed in March 2022 that health and care workers in Bolton would receive a real living wage from April.

Cllr for Adult Social Care Andy Morgan has said that the ‘majority of providers are already doing this’ this and ‘providers who are not doing this are being identified’.

Mr Quick said: “We were still in discussion about that up until May, and are waiting to discuss this.

“But the language started to change, with them saying that they were just working towards it, and it’s not something they can force employers to do.

“Other areas in Greater Manchester have delivered the payment.

The Bolton News: Unison calling for more pay outside the town hallUnison calling for more pay outside the town hall

“If other councils can do it, why can’t ours?

“It’s a real kick in the teeth for care workers who were promised this.”

Ryan also explained that there was a huge number of care workers leaving and not returning because of not being paid the real living wage.

He added: “Why would you work in the care sector when you have responsibilities such as personal care, bathing residents, challenging behaviour, and dealing with medication for £ 9.50, when you could go and work in a supermarket or Amazon.

“We need care workers in that field, so they don’t go elsewhere because they put so much into care for the elderly and the vulnerable.”

Cllr Morgan explained that because the majority of providers were paying the real living wage, that those who were not would by default have to or they would risk losing workers.

He said: “Recruitment and retention is so difficult because workers are so tired and exhausted.

“If providers aren’t paying care workers the real living wage, carers won’t stay in the sector, and we need them.

“By default, the providers that aren’t paying this will have to pay or they won’t be in business.

“The market is driving itself, where staff will move to providers that are paying it.

“Providers paying it don’t have the same staff issues.

The Bolton News: Labour leader Cllr Nick Peel and Cllr Martin McMulkin supporting the callLabour leader Cllr Nick Peel and Cllr Martin McMulkin supporting the call

“That’s why we’re encouraging providers who aren’t, to do so as soon as possible.”

Cllr Morgan added: “We believe that the majority of people have done it and we are talking with the people who haven’t done it.

“The Bolton Foundation Trust transferred some funds to us to allow us to pay the fee level paid to providers.

“We are working with providers now and identifying providers who are not doing it to encourage the sector to pay the real living wage.

“It’s crucial that the whole health system is sustainable.

“They have worked so hard, especially over the last couple of years.

“They have the right to receive a fair pay for what they do.

“It’s a great example of partnership with the council and the hospital.”