Starting pistol fired on next year’s pay dispute, before this year’s is concluded
“Incomplete picture” given to Pay Review Body over funding options available to Welsh Government, says Adam Price MS
The Leader of Plaid Cymru, Adam Price MS, has criticised Welsh Government for triggering dispute over next year’s pay “even before this year’s dispute is resolved.”
The remarks were made in First Minister’s Questions, which was today taken by the Trefnydd, Leslie Griffiths MS.
The NHS pay round process for 2023/24 was triggered by Welsh Government sending a remit letter to the NHS Pay Review Body – a copy of which was published on the same day that health unions said they were not prepared to engage with the Review Body process.
Mr Price said that this “effectively begins a new dispute” with health unions, who have already indicated their mistrust in the current process.
In addition, Mr Price has accused the government of giving an “incomplete picture” of options for funding, by failing to give the Pay Review Body the option of raising taxes as a way of finding additional funds for the NHS.
Leader of Plaid Cymru Adam Price MS said,
“Triggering next year’s pay round by engaging the NHS pay review body – a process that health unions have already expressed distrust in – is effectively triggering next year’s pay disputes already. All this before the current round of pay disputes has been resolved!
“In pointing the blame at lack of increased funding from Westminster, Welsh Government has once again hidden behind the UK Government, whilst failing to acknowledge the power that lies in their own hands, through taxation. In failing to allow the Pay Review Body to even consider this, Welsh Government is misrepresenting the options available to increase pay.
“The evidence provided to the Pay Review Body paints a sobering picture of the NHS: Vacancies up; Sickness rates up; Agency spending up; Leaving rates up. The only thing going down is the morale of the staff and their trust in this Labour Welsh Government! The question that they are yet to answer satisfactorily is what they intend to do about it.”