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Nurse pay rise in Wales capped at 1% for another year

Nurses in Wales are set to get a 1% pay rise from April, as the NHS pay cap continues for a seventh year.
Vaughan Gething-Alamy.jpg

Nurses in Wales are set to get a maxmimum 1% pay rise from April in a move labelled by the RCN as 'disappointing'.

It comes after a similar announcement by Scotland last week and ahead of any decision by England or Northern Ireland.

As well as announcing the 1% pay award for 2017-18, Welsh health secretary Vaughan Gething said more than 7,000 of the lowest paid employees will be paid in line with the Living Wage Foundations Living Wage.

RCN Wales associate director (employment relations) Peter Meredith-Smith said: 'We are disappointed to see that NHS staff in Wales, who are bearing the brunt of relentless frontline pressures, have yet again been awarded a pay rise that is below

Nurses in Wales are set to get a maxmimum 1% pay rise from April in a move labelled by the RCN as 'disappointing'.


Vaughan Gething has said employees in Wales will be paid in line with the Living Wage
Picture: Alamy

It comes after a similar announcement by Scotland last week and ahead of any decision by England or Northern Ireland.

As well as announcing the 1% pay award for 2017-18, Welsh health secretary Vaughan Gething said more than 7,000 of the lowest paid employees will be paid in line with the Living Wage Foundation’s Living Wage.

RCN Wales associate director (employment relations) Peter Meredith-Smith said: 'We are disappointed to see that NHS staff in Wales, who are bearing the brunt of relentless frontline pressures, have yet again been awarded a pay rise that is below inflation. 

'This means the significant and continuous erosion of the wages of NHS staff and our members that has occurred over several years persists, with pay restraints being increasingly strained since 2010. An increase such as this does not match the dedication and hard work that our NHS workforce provides to patients in Wales each and every day.'

Commitment to staff

Mr Gething said: 'I remain committed to tackling the issue of low pay in Wales and will ensure the lowest earners in NHS Wales are paid a fair salary, as recommended by the Living Wage Foundation.

'I am therefore implementing the uplift to the Living Wage – to £8.45 an hour – for all directly employed NHS staff from 1 April 2017.

'I am pleased that I am able to award pay increases in line with the independent pay review bodies’ pay recommendations and to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to staff working in the NHS in Wales. I am also committed to working in social partnership with employers and those representing NHS staff to consider the way forward on the other issues the pay review bodies raised.'

The RCN has previously urged UK governments to end the 1% pay cap on NHS pay, arguing the many members of the nursing profession were struggling financially.

In its evidence to the Independent NHS Pay Review Body (RB) on the 2017-18 pay round, the RCN asked for an above inflation pay rise to bring nursing pay back into line.  

Mr Meredith- Smith added that he commended the government for honouring the recommendations of RB, so reaffirming its continuing commitment to the Pay Review Body, Agenda for Change and a unified pay structure for the NHS across the UK.

'As well as this, we welcome their announcement of continuing support for the lowest paid staff within NHS Wales by its decision to uplift the rate of pay to that of the living wage,' he added.

Petition

In January, a House of Commons debate was called following a petition by more than 100,000 nurses demanding an end to pay restraint.

Labour MP for Newcastle-upon-Tyne North Catherine McKinnell led a discussion on the hardship nurses have faced, including resorting to food banks.


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