NHS pay in Wales: health unions back three-year deal

Nurses will reach the top of their pay bands more quickly – and there's help for those going through the menopause
Yes to pay deal in Wales

Nurses will reach the top of their pay bands more quickly – and there's help for those going through the menopause

Picture: iStock

Nurses in Wales have accepted an NHS pay deal that will allow faster progression to the top of the pay bands.

The proposal was accepted by 66% of RCN members who voted in a month-long consultation and broadly follows the structure of the English pay settlement.

The deal incorporates a 'menopause policy' that will enable flexible working patterns to take account of the needs of the workforce.

Unions' backing

The deal, which applies to staff on Agenda for Change contracts, has now been endorsed by the RCN Wales Board and the RCN's ruling council. The other health unions in Wales, including the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), have accepted the deal too.

Tina Donnelly

RCN Wales director Tina Donnelly said: ‘Our activists, representatives, pay champions and staff have travelled throughout Wales to ensure nursing staff who work in the NHS have had the opportunity to explore the pay deal before they voted.'

RCM Wales director Helen Rogers said: ‘This was a very good offer, especially in the current climate.’

What the deal means for you

  • The deal consists of a 6.5% increase in the value of the top of each pay band over the course of three years – 3% this year, 1.7% in the second year and 1.67% in the final year
  • Staff at the top of their band will receive the 3% increase from October, with backdated pay to 1 April 2018 coming in November
  • Other staff will receive a cost-of-living pay rise of 1.5% in October – with backdated pay to 1 April 2018 coming in November
  • These staff will also receive a further rise on their increment date – depending on when they joined the NHS – each year.
  • It means over the course of three years, staff not at the top of their band could receive between 10% and 24% pay increases
  • Staff at the top of Bands 2 to 8c will receive a one-off lump sum to the value of 1.1% in April 2019
  • Staff will reach the top of their pay band more quickly. For example, a Band 5 nurse have taken seven years to reach the top but will only need four years under the new deal
  • The Welsh government has agreed to implement an NHS Wales menopause policy. This is likely to be ready this autumn
  • Pay progression will not be automatic – staff will need to demonstrate they have met the required standards


Controversy surrounded the RCN's communication of the NHS pay deal in England. General secretary Janet Davies has since stepped down and an extraordinary general meeting and motion of no-confidence in the college's leadership are pending.

But, RCN Wales associate director for employment Helen Whyley said Welsh members have been accurately informed.

Only staff in Wales at the top of their NHS pay band will receive an immediate pay increase in October, while others will receive rises according to their increment date.

Ms Whyley welcomed the menopause policy agreement, which is likely to include opportunities to adapt roles or change working patterns to assist women.

Welsh health secretary Vaughan Gething said: ‘This pay deal gives parity with counterparts in England, and goes beyond it in some areas.’

Elsewhere in the UK…

  • England Pay increases came into effect from July
  • Scotland NHS nurses are to receive a 9% pay rise over three years
  • Northern Ireland Officials are modelling how the English pay deal would be replicated, but remain hamstrung by the absence of devolved government at Stormont


Related material

RCN Wales individual pay journey table – find out how your pay will be affected.

In other news