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Minister backs 1% pay rise for all Welsh NHS staff

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Employees of the health services in Wales will receive a 1% pay rise, like their colleagues across the rest of the UK, the Welsh government announced on Friday.

The deal includes a 1% consolidated pay increase for all Agenda for Change staff in the Welsh NHS, as well as similar or slightly higher rises for doctors and dentists.

“Our commitment to the NHS is unwavering and our staff are at the heart of the service”

Mark Drakeford

In addition, more than 7,000 of the lowest paid NHS staff will receive a backdated pay rise as the uplift to the living wage applied from 1 January – the living wage has risen to £8.25 from £7.85.

Overall, the health service pay rises, including the living wage increase, will cost the Welsh government an estimated £40m a year, it said in a statement.

Health and social services minister Mark Drakeford said: “We have accepted in full the recommendations from the independent pay review bodies – this is in line with the offers made elsewhere in the UK.

Welsh Government

Mark Drakeford

Mark Drakeford

He added: “We remain committed to tackling the issue of low pay in Wales and our commitment for the NHS in Wales to be a ‘living wage’ employer means that the lowest earners in NHS Wales are paid a fair salary, as recommended by the Living Wage Foundation.”

Earlier this month, the NHS Pay Review Body recommended a 1% uplift in the value of each of the pay points on the pay spine and an increase of 1% in the value of the maximum and minimum values of “high cost area” payments.

The Department of Health, the Scottish government and ministers in Northern Ireland all immediately accepted the deal, while staff in Wales had to wait 10 days.

Unions, including the Royal College of Nursing, Unison and Unite, have yet to formally accept the offer though it seems likely that they will do so.

Earlier this week, NHS Employers issued a new pay circular for staff on Agenda for Change, setting out likely salary increases by band from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017.

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