Cynon AM welcomes NHS pay deal

Vikki Howells, Assembly Member for Cynon Valley, has welcomed the Welsh Labour Government’s announcement of a new NHS pay deal.

The deal covers nurses and other NHS staff on Agenda for Change terms and conditions in Wales, and stretches over three years, together with a new pay deal for doctors and dentists in Wales, which includes a higher salary increase than the deal agreed in England.

Trade unions have unanimously agreed to the deal, offered by the Welsh Government, which includes a range of pay and non-pay proposals that will benefit staff and patients. It matches, and in some areas goes beyond the English pay deal.

As part of the deal, pay bands will be restructured to include higher starting pay, removal of overlapping pay points and shorter pay scales.

It guarantees fair basic pay awards for the next three years to staff who are at the top of their bands – in cumulative 6.5% in three years.

The pay offer includes:
• Going beyond our commitment to the Living Wage Foundation recommendations, with a new rate of £17,460 introduced from 1 April 2018 as the minimum basic pay rate in the NHS and the lowest starting NHS salary increases to £18,005 in 20/21.
• Investing in higher starting salaries for staff in every pay band by reforming the pay system to remove overlapping pay points.
• Guaranteeing fair basic pay awards for the next three years to the staff who are at the top of pay bands;
• Guaranteeing fair basic pay awards and faster progression pay for the next three years to those staff who are not yet on the top of their pay band.

In addition to this the Welsh Government has agreed in full the recommendations of the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (DDRB):
• a 2% base increase for salaried doctors and dentists, salaried General Medical Practitioners (GMPs) and independent contractor GMPs and General Dental Practitioners (GDPs)
• an additional 2% for independent contractor GMPs, salaried GMPs and to the GMP trainers’ grant and the GMP appraisers’ rate
• an additional 1.5% for Specialty and Associate Specialist (SAS) doctors.

Vikki Howells said:

“Staff in the Welsh NHS work incredibly hard delivering world class care, often under immense pressure, and this new pay deal across the sector will be welcome news to the hardworking health staff I meet throughout my Cynon Valley constituency.

“After 8 years of austerity, imposed by the UK Government, the Welsh Labour Government are right to find the extra funds needed to fund this pay award.

“Today’s announcement recognises the value and dedication of doctors, dentists and health professionals and their key contribution to the NHS in Wales.

“By going beyond the pay offer in England, the Welsh Government are making Wales an even more attractive place to train, work and live.

“This pay rise for the NHS Wales workforce, shows the Welsh Labour Government are committed to investing in staff to ensure they can continue to deliver excellent health and social care.”