“Ample opportunities” for Welsh Government to improve pay offer to nurses, says Rhun ap Iorwerth MS

On the first phase of nurses strikes, Plaid Cymru has issued a message of support for striking nurses, and reiterated its assertion that Welsh Government has the power to avert further strike action.

Speaking in the Senedd yesterday (Wednesday 14 December), Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for health and care, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said “the Minister says her hands are tied. Let me ask her this: does she even want those hands to be untied, because nurses tell me that what they see is a Minister seemingly happy to hide behind the inaction of UK Government?”

Earlier this week, the Royal College of Nursing issued a statement following a meeting with Welsh Government in which it said the Welsh Government has “no intention of coming to a resolution on our dispute” and that the strikes are “inevitable in Wales because the Welsh Government is making it so”.

Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for health and care, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said,

“There have been ample opportunities for Labour Welsh Government to show their support for our nurses. Yes, their hands are tied in many ways by Westminster, but Welsh Government has used that as a reason to shy away from its responsibilities. They are not without power, and whatever the context, governing is always about prioritising.

“Time and time again Plaid Cymru has urged Welsh Government to look at all the levers at their disposal - taxation, reserves, reallocation. But here we have the clearest evidence – from the nurses themselves – that they have utterly failed to do that.”

“Plaid Cymru is on the side of all workers fighting for fair pay and safe working conditions. We fully support our hard working nurses as they take a stand against the real terms pay cuts and the crisis in their workforce, and we urge Welsh Government to look again at their responsibility to avert this crisis.”