Porters, cleaners, nurses, paramedics and other health workers in Wales have told UNISON the 3 per cent pay award announced by Welsh government falls considerably short of their expectations.
UNISON says UK and Welsh ministers have failed to grasp that healthcare workers feel they are being taken for granted after working in incredibly tough conditions for 16 months.
The pay award was due in April, but staff have been made to wait until the summer. They have endured a decade of pay freezes or low pay awards because of UK government austerity.
The trade union has warned poor morale means people may leave the service and low pay will make it difficult to attract recruits as the NHS seeks to deal with record waiting lists.
UNISON and the other health unions will be writing to the Welsh health minister for urgent talks to boost the pay award.
Paul Summers, UNISON Cymru Wales lead officer for health, said,
“It’s incomprehensible why you wouldn’t give healthcare workers a decent pay award after the trauma they have faced during Covid, working hard to save lives and keep us safe.
“The public seems to hold NHS staff in higher esteem than our governments. 3 per cent isn’t good enough. It is below the £2,000 pay claim submitted by UNISON for every member of staff and it is even below the 4 per cent awarded by the Scottish government to their NHS staff. Welsh healthcare workers have every right to question why their government doesn’t value their services as highly as the Scottish government.
“The pay of these workers has been suppressed for ten years. They need a fair boost to their salaries and the NHS does too, to retain and recruit enough staff and deal with the next Covid wave and treatment backlog.
“We want to meet Eluned Morgan and examine how Welsh NHS staff can be better rewarded.”
Alastair Gittins, UNISON Cymru Wales press officer 07816 53 83 97