Nurses and other NHS staff, on Agenda for Change terms and conditions in Wales, have agreed a new pay deal over three years.
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 pay deal for England.
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 per cent in three years.
The Health Secretary commented, ‘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.
‘After eight years of austerity, imposed by the UK government, we have committed extra funding beyond the consequential funding that we received following the pay rise in England, to offer a deal which is not only fair to staff and taxpayers, but will also lead to a better NHS for Wales.’
The agreement includes a continuing commitment to look at the annual Living Wage Foundation recommendations so that NHS pay scales remain fair in the future. It also provides better payments during sickness absence than in England, as part of a commitment to improve the health, wellbeing, and attendance of NHS staff in Wales. Trade unions and employers will also work together to support individuals if they face a diagnosis of a terminal illness, including support for the TUC Dying to Work campaign.
The Health Secretary has said that work will begin to make sure that staff see the benefits in their pay packets before Christmas.