Posted: Thu 24th Jun 2021

Unions join together to call for fair pay for NHS Workers in Wales

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Jun 24th, 2021

Nine trade unions have united to collectively call on the Welsh Government to give NHS staff an urgent, significant and well-earned pay rise.

Paul Summers, trade union chair of the Welsh Partnership Forum, has penned an open letter to Welsh ministers, arguing that there has never been a time when the need for a pay increase has been so great.

The open letter is backed by unions representing a swathe of the health service workforce, including BMA Cymru Wales, the Royal College of Nursing, Royal College of Midwives, GMB, Unite, Unison, Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, British Association of Occupation Therapists, and the Society of Radiographers.

Yesterday union representatives met with Health Minister Eluned Morgan to hand her a copy of the letter.

“In the past year Covid-19 has taken a terrible toll on our society,” Mr Summers wrote. “Many have sadly lost their lives and no one has been untouched by the pandemic.

“Throughout Wales, the NHS and its staff have been both vital and central to supporting the people of Wales.

“NHS staff have exhausted themselves physically and mentally in their efforts to tackle the virus and support patients in a system that was already underfunded and struggling.

“It is therefore our belief that there has never been a time when the need for an urgent and significant pay rise for NHS staff has been so great – a belief shared by so many people across Wales.”

In March the former Health Minister Vaughan Gething said Wales will not be setting an “artificial ceiling” on NHS pay in the same way the UK Government is proposing for health workers in England.

Speaking at the time Mr Gething said: “We certainly have not done what the UK Government has done and tried to set an artificial ceiling on the payroll that should be provided.

“We think that our staff do deserve a pay rise and we’re asking pay review bodies for evidence for determination and advice on what there should be.

“We want to make sure that the UK government are in a position to properly fund that pay rise.

“I understand why so many staff across our NHS will be feeling hurt and upset and a little angry at the evidence that the Department of Health and Social Care at the UK level have provided.

“As I say, when our evidence is published, you’ll see we have not taken that approach.”

However reports from the independent pay review bodies (PRBs) – for staff on both Agenda for Change and Medical and Dental terms – have yet to be published.

Mr Summer encouraged the Welsh Government to go beyond the recommendations of both PRBs if they do not meet the trade unions’ demands.

He also called for the 2021 pay award to be backdated to December 2020, adding: “With all the challenges that face NHS staff in the coming years an urgent and significant pay rise is vital to reward staff and stem the tide of those leaving the NHS.

“Retaining and rewarding the skilled, dedicated and experienced NHS staff will have massive benefits on the health and wellbeing of Wales.”

We have contacted the Welsh Government and are awaiting further comment.

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