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Wales’ doctors encouraged to accept new pay offer

June 7th, 2024

Doctors in Wales are recommending a new pay offer from Welsh government should be accepted.

The new pay award on the table for junior doctors, SAS doctors and consultants could potentially bring the dispute in Wales to an end.

Different offers have been made to each of the three groups and will go to BMA Cymru Wales presenters to vote.

It follows 10 days of strike action by junior doctors and planned action by senior doctors which were called off at the last minute for pay talks to resume in April.

Junior doctors have been offered an additional 7.4% uplift, taking the total to 12.4% for 2023-24, which the Welsh government said was in line with the offer accepted in Scotland.

Some consultants would get an additional pay rise of up to 10.1%, if accepted.

For SAS doctors the pay offer for newer contracts includes increases of between 6.1% to 9.2% as well as an additional rise for associate specialists on closed contracts.

The offer will be voted between 12 and 26 June.

Dr Oba Babs Osibodu and Dr Peter Fahey, co-chairmen of the BMA’s Welsh Junior Doctors Committee said they were “encouraging” presenters to accept the deal.

However, nurses have responded angrily to the increased offer for doctors and the Royal College of Nursing said it was seeking urgent meetings with ministers.

Helen Whyley, executive director of the union, said nurses felt “let down and misled” and that promises of there being “no money in the pot for NHS nursing staff salaries was either untrue or demonstrates they can’t manage their finances”.

Ms Whyley added that the announcement came “only days after the first minister opened our annual RCN congress on home soil in Newport, speaking of his unwavering support for nursing staff”.

She said this was “merely hot air” while concerns over inadequate staffing, patients treated in corridors and other pressures were causing “severe moral distress, leading to an increase in nursing staff so overwhelmed with pressure from work that they even considered taking their own lives”.

Dr Stephen Kelly, chairman of BMA Cymru Wales’ consultants committee, said the group was pleased to reach an offer that “we believe honours our overwhelming strike mandate and offers significant improvements”.

Dr Ali Nazir, chairman of BMA Cymru Wales’ SAS doctor committee said: “By taking part [in industrial action] and getting us here they have played a part in securing a better future for SAS doctors in Wales.”

Health Minister Eluned Morgan, and First Minister Vaughan Gething said the offers were “at the limit of our affordability”.

They added the pay structure for consultants would be reformed to “better support recruitment and retention”.

The offer also aims to address imbalances in the existing contracts for specialist doctors, associate specialists, and specialty doctors, “to ensure consistency and fairness”.

If the pay award is accepted, it would mean industrial action in Wales and Scotland would have come to an end, though it continues in England and Northern Ireland.

Andrew RT Davies MS, leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Senedd, said: “After offering the worst settlement figure in the UK, the Labour government claimed there was no money to meet the pay increase.

“Now it appears the money was always there and whilst the Welsh government were dithering, Wales’ longest waiting lists on record have been exacerbated,” he said.

This content was originally sourced and posted at Yahoo Canada Sports – Sports News, Scores, Rumours, Fantasy Games, and more »
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