Mark Drakeford, Minister for Health and Social Services
In July, details of the 2014-15 pay award for all Agenda for Change NHS staff were published. The award was developed against the backdrop of significant and continuing financial pressures and within the context of the Welsh Government’s decision to implement an award equivalent in size to that in England.
In the months since, discussions have been ongoing with trade union representatives about the 2015-16 pay award. This is an excellent example of working collaboratively and co-production and I am pleased that in Wales we have been able to avoid significant strike action by agreeing a mutual position - this is a credit to all parties.
Having carefully considered the proposals put forward by both trade union representatives and employers, an offer has been made, which has been subject to consultation. This offer has today been accepted.
- We will continue to tackle the issue of low pay by implementing the living wage for directly employed NHS staff from January 1, 2015;
- In 2014-15, a non-consolidated, non-pensionable, lump sum payment of £187 (full time equivalent) will be payable to all Agenda for Change staff in post as at December 1, 2014. This will be paid in January 2015. In addition to this, employed staff will continue to receive incremental progression;
- An anomaly between pay points 15 and 16 will be rectified, which will ensure incremental progression will provide a minimum uplift of 1%;
- In 2015-16, a 1% consolidated uplift will be applied to all staff on Agenda for Change pay scales from April 1, 2015;
- An NHS workforce commission will be established to consider a broad range of workforce issues, including the Agenda for Change pay arrangements and the NHS workforce of the future. It will work within the parameters set out in the Nuffield Trust report A Decade of Austerity in Wales? which looked at the future funding prospects of the NHS in Wales. The idea of an independent commission has been discussed with trade unions and welcomed in principle.
This two-year, made-in-Wales pay deal demonstrates our ongoing commitment to staff working in the NHS in these challenging financial times. Our overriding priority has been – and continues to be – to maintain jobs at the frontline of NHS Wales against a backdrop of severe cuts to our budget.
The deal will also allow trade unions and employers to engage in further constructive joint working on other critical matters including prudent healthcare, service re-configuration and workforce transformation.
While this statement covers Agenda for Change staff, it is hoped that the 2015-16 pay arrangements for medical and dental staff will be resolved in due course.