Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Gower, has backed Welsh Health Secretary Vaughan Gething's call on the UK Government to remove the NHS staff pay cap and make funds available to the Welsh Government so NHS Wales staff get the pay rise they deserve.
Rebecca Evans AM said: "During the election, we saw the Prime Minister tell a nurse who hadn't had a pay rise in eight years that there was "no magic money tree." Well, the PM seemed to find one this week with her billion pound bung to the DUP. It's time that the UK Government provides Wales with the funding we need to recognise and reward our NHS staff who work diligently and passionately day in day out."
Health Minister Vaughan Gething said: “I’ve today written to the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, urging him to make the case to the UK Treasury to remove the cap on pay and make funds available across the UK to allow hard working NHS staff to receive a pay uplift of greater than 1%.
“Yesterday, the UK Government found more than £1bn to effectively end austerity in Northern Ireland. I fully expect them to make money available so that we can give our hardworking health service staff the pay rise they deserve. They deserve nothing less.”
The full text of the letter is as follows:
“The NHS forms part of the common foundations of UK society. The staff who work within the NHS provide an invaluable service and quite rightly elicit very high levels of public trust and support; they are highly trained and dedicated to delivering the best possible healthcare to the public.
“We have a responsibility to treat these dedicated individuals with fairness and equity. The UK government policy on public sector pay restraint has created real and significant issues for NHS staff. Over this period of restraint, we have, in Wales, committed to tackling the issue of low pay and ensured that the lowest earners in NHS Wales are paid a fair salary, as recommended by the Living Wage Foundation.
“I attended the RCN Conference this year and was struck by some of the very powerful individual stories which reflect the real hardship faced by some NHS staff as a result of prolonged pay restraint. The “RCN’s “Summer of Protest” which starts today gives us a clear signal about the strength of feeling amongst RCN members. We know that the BMA and Agenda for Change unions are supportive of the RCN stance.
“This “Summer of Protest” is a mutual problem for Governments across the UK and our respective NHS services will all be affected by action targeted at UK government pay restraint policies.
“I would urge you to make the case to the UK Treasury to remove the cap on pay and make available funds across the UK to allow hard working NHS staff to receive a pay uplift of greater than 1%.”