Nurses, midwives and other NHS staff across Wales have accepted a pay deal over the next three years.
The government said the offer would give healthcare workers “pay parity” with their counterparts in England where a 6.5% increase was agreed this summer. However, it does not match the 9% deal secured in Scotland.
“I’m pleased that today we are able to reward this dedication with a new pay deal”
The offer was unanimously accepted by trade unions following a ballot with their members.
It applies to NHS Wales staff on Agenda for Change contracts and will see the value of the top points in bands 2-8b increased by 6.5% cumulatively between 2018-19 and 2020-21.
- RCN members in Wales asked for views on NHS pay deal
- Welsh nurses also in line for 6.5% pay rise over three years
As part of the agreement pay bands will be restructured to include higher starting pay, removal of overlapping pay points and shorter pay scales. Pay increases will be backdated to 1 April 2018.
Wales health secretary Vaughan Gething said work would begin to make sure staff saw the benefits in their pay packets before Christmas.
“This was a very good offer, especially in the current climate”
He added: “Our NHS staff do a fantastic job delivering world-class care under immense pressure and scrutiny. They work incredibly hard, always putting patients first and keeping them safe, while delivering the best care possible.
“I’m pleased that today we are able to reward this dedication with a new pay deal that gives parity with their counterparts in England, and goes beyond it in some areas that will benefit the Welsh NHS.”
The Royal College of Nursing in Wales has made assurances over its communications of the offer with members, following a major row over the deal in England.
- RCN council to fight against overthrow bid in pay deal row
- Janet Davies to step down from RCN in wake of pay anger
- RCN to hold extraordinary general meeting on pay deal in September
Tina Donnelly, RCN Wales director, said: “It has been a very busy time, seeking to inform members of the pay deal on offer.
“Our activists, representatives, pay champions and staff have travelled throughout Wales to ensure that nursing staff who work in the NHS have had the opportunity to explore the pay deal before they voted,” she said.
Sister says working A&E night shift is more stressful than war zone
“Our members have spoken – they have accepted the pay offer,” she said. “The deal doesn’t mean the fight for fair pay is over and we will need the continued support of members to make sure all of our members receive the pay rise they deserve in the future, wherever they are in the UK.”
Gaynor Jones, chair of the RCN Welsh board, said the college held many events and drop-in sessions across the country to share information on the deal and it had also been “very active” on social media.
Of those who voted in the RCN Wales consultation, 66% backed the offer.
As previously reported, the council of the RCN in England are facing a motion of no confidence at an extraordinary general meeting on 28 September, following a petition by members who claimed they were misled over the pay deal.
The controversy led to the college’s chief executive and general secretary, Janet Davies, stepping down in August. The RCN has also commissioned an external review over its processes and communications surrounding the offer.
The Welsh pay deal has also been backed by the country’s Royal College of Midwives, with 87% of voting members accepting the offer.
‘Real time’ monitoring of HCAIs in Welsh hospitals
Commenting on the result, Helen Rogers, RCM director for Wales, said: “This was a very good offer, especially in the current climate.
“I am pleased that our members have accepted it by such an overwhelming majority,” she said. “It means that midwives, maternity support workers and other NHS staff can start to see real increases in their pay.
“I see this as the start of better and fairer pay for midwives and other NHS staff in Wales,” she added.
The new deal provides better sickness absences payments to NHS staff in Wales than in England.
The government has vowed to consider the living wage rates and recommendations announced annually by the Living Wage Foundation to ensure “NHS pay scales remain fair in the future”.
The new minimum basic pay in the NHS in Wales will sit at £17,460 from 1 April 2018.
Further information on the pay deal can be found here.