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Wales nurses denied 1% pay rise

The Welsh government has refused to give nurses a 1% cost-of-living pay rise this year. 

Following the lead of the English government, Welsh health minister Mark Drakeford said that every NHS worker on Agenda for Change will be given a £160 one-off payment instead. 

Nurses will also be given an incremental pay rise if they are eligible. 

Royal College of Nursing Wales (RCN Wales) said that the decision not to follow the recommendation of the NHS Pay Review Body is “disappointing”. 

Nurses in Wales will be offered at least the living wage of £7.65 per hour as part of the changes coming into force in September. 

This means that around 2,400 of the lowest paid employees will receive an increase of their basic salary of up to £470. 

RCN Wales associate director for employment relations David Wallace said there are “positives” to take from the announcement. 

He said: “There is something for everyone in the pay award, whether that be incremental progression or pay rise. 

“However, we are disappointed that the decision has not met the full recommendation of the pay body that nurses should receive a 1% pay increase.” 

Drakeford said: “I have been clear that my priority is to maintain jobs in NHS Wales. But in an age of austerity and with pay accounting for more than 60% of the NHS budget, we have no choice but to consider some form of pay restraint to maintain jobs and services.”