Starmer mocked for ‘branding’ Welsh Gov’s pay rise for NHS staff ‘shameful’
Keir Starmer has been mocked for ‘branding’ the Welsh Government’s pay rise for NHS staff “shameful”.
Labour’s Westminster leader criticised the Conservative UK Government for the 3% uplift in England, which he described as a “real-terms cut”.
However, the Labour Welsh Government has increased pay for NHS staff in Wales by exactly the same amount, which was pointed out by Plaid Cymru MS Mabon ap Gwynfor.
Keir Starmer said: “The Tories have announced a real-terms pay cut for police, teachers, junior doctors and millions of public sector workers.
“The same frontline workers Boris Johnson clapped on his doorstep are being asked to pick up the tab for Tory waste, cronyism and vanity projects. Shameful.”
Plaid Cymru MS Mabon ap Gwynfor mocked the Labour leader, saying “Labour leader Keir Starmer brands Labour Welsh Government’s pay settlement for public sector workers ‘shameful’.”
Welsh health minister Eluned Morgan said the wage increase “recognises the dedication and commitment” of staff.
In England, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the pay rise was a recognition of the “extraordinary efforts” of NHS workers.
The Royal College of Nursing in Wales said nurses had been left “disappointed and upset” by the offer, adding that it was a “long way off” the 12.5% that the union had been campaigning for. Most NHS nurses in Scotland were awarded a 4% pay rise earlier this year.
‘Want to thank’
When making the announcement for Wales, Eluned Morgan said: “Once again, I want to thank our Welsh NHS staff for their extraordinary efforts over the course of this pandemic.
“Many staff have worked extremely long hours under enormous pressure. This pay rise recognises the dedication and commitment of hardworking NHS staff and the enormous contribution they have made.
“It is also a recognition of how valued they are by Welsh communities.”
But Helen Whyley, Director, Royal College of Nursing Wales, said: “The 3% award from the Welsh Government is bitterly disappointing.
“This does not reflect the 12.5% ask of the Royal College of Nursing, which would bring nurses in line with other professions and redress the fact that their wages have reduced over the last 10 years.”
BMA Cymru Wales also said that the 3% pay rise fell short of what they had hoped for.
“Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic colleagues across the healthcare sector went above and beyond to care for patients, putting themselves and their families’ lives at risk in the process,” they said.
“After going through the most challenging times in their careers, we are extremely disappointed at the DDRB’s recommendation of a 3% pay uplift, and that the Minister has chosen not to go above and beyond this.
“Ultimately we will need to consult with our members to gauge their reaction and plan to discuss this with the Minister as soon as possible.
“However, as we begin to tackle the longest waiting lists on record, the Welsh Government and NHS employers must step up their efforts to support NHS staff; working with us to provide properly funded primary care services, improved recruitment and retention, rest facilities and wellbeing services to ensure we can deliver the vital care needed in Wales.”
“If we fail to look after this invaluable workforce, we will fail to continue to provide the high standards of care to patients that we all want to deliver.”