UNISON Cymru Wales has welcomed the bonus payment announced today (Wednesday) by health and social services minister, Vaughan Gething, as a timely boost for worn-out NHS staff and care workers.
UNISON wrote to the minister in January, on behalf of all health unions, calling on the Welsh government to provide a bonus, over and above any NHS pay award, in recognition for the efforts of these staff during the pandemic.
The bonus payment of £735 will be made to all NHS and social care staff in May, delivering £500 to individuals after tax and insurance deductions. It is a one-off payment and is in addition to any NHS pay award.
Additionally, the minister has committed to paying at least the real living wage of £9.50 throughout NHS Wales and has informed the pay review body (PRB) that the Welsh government does not wish to place a cap on any NHS pay award. The Westminster government has recommended a 1 per cent cap to the PRB.
NHS pay in Wales is a devolved issue but Welsh Government could only afford to provide a decent wage rise if it receives additional funding from Westminster. A substantial NHS England pay rise would provide that equivalent money in the devolved budget to Wales.
Paul Summers, UNISON Cymru Wales lead officer for health, said,
“UNISON led the drive for a Covid bonus for health and social care employees and we are very pleased the Welsh government has recognised these workers have given absolutely everything to help keep families safe during the pandemic.
“This is a really timely boost for worn-out low-paid NHS and care staff.
“The Welsh government’s actions are in stark contrast to the insulting approach of the Conservative UK government to NHS and care staff and we thank the health and social services minister for working with UNISON and the other trade unions.
“But this is only the start and we will continue to argue for all NHS Agenda for Change staff to receive a minimum £2,000 pay rise as part of the UNISON #OneTeam2k campaign.”
Notes to editors
The health and social services minister today announced: –
- Welsh government commitment to paying the real living wage in NHS Wales.
- Letter to NHS pay review body stating that the Welsh government does not wish to place a cap on any NHS pay award [unlike the England 1% recommendation to the PRB].
- That a payment will be made to all NHS and social care staff of £735 [which will mean that after tax and NI deductions a basic rate taxpayer will receive £500].
- The payment will also apply to NHS contractor staff.
- The payment will be made in the new financial year [to avoid increased tax for staff] and will be paid in May 2021.
- This is a one-off payment and is in addition to any future pay award for NHS staff and is recognition for their efforts during the pandemic.
Alastair Gittins, UNISON Cymru Wales press officer on 07816 53 83 97