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Nursing Pay in Wales

Nursing Pay in Wales

Here you can find the latest information about the proposals for NHS pay, what it means in Wales, and why it is important that you get involved in an RCN member consultation on pay.

What is the NHS Wales pay deal?

Changes to the pay structure means that pay increases for members in Wales may be different from that of their colleagues and some people do better than others in individual years.  Now that the pay deal has been agreed, members in Wales can view the Agenda for Change amended framework for Wales- visit the NHS Confederation Wales Pay Deal 2018 page, or directly access the Draft Framework Agreement which contains the individual pay journey table for 2018 to 2020/21 . In addition members can find further information on the deal here.

RCN Wales member consultation

RCN Wales members have voted to accept a new three year pay deal.


A three-year pay deal for NHS staff has been agreed today (Monday, 17th September 2018). 


The unanimous decision by the health trade unions in Wales to accept the pay proposals from the Welsh Government follows a month-long consultation with RCN Welsh members and comes on the back of the RCN’s successful “Scrap the Cap” campaign.

Sixty-six percent of members who voted in the RCN Wales consultation said “Yes” to the deal. The results were accepted by the College’s Trade Union Committee and endorsed by the RCN Welsh Board and RCN Council. 


The process to implement the deal will now begin. NHS staff on Agenda for Change contracts should receive an uplift in their October pay packets and backdated pay from 1st April will be paid as soon as possible. The agreement also includes restructuring of existing pay bands with a reduction in the number of pay points.  


Gaynor Jones, Chair of the RCN Welsh Board, said: “The RCN Welsh Board worked hard to ensure members had information before they voted. We held many events across Wales and daily drop-in sessions by appointment at either RCN HQ in Ty Maeth or the North Wales Office.  We were very active on social media.” 


Describing how they helped to spread the word about the NHS pay offer consultation, Alison Magor, RCN Wales Welsh Board Member and RCN Steward, said: “I used social media such as Facebook and Twitter to share all the communications that have been available.  I also signposted members to the RCN Wales website.” ​

Elizabeth Rees, RCN Board Member and RCN Learning Representative, said: “I attended as many meetings as I could and helped to spread details of the offer by word of mouth and networking with members.” 


Tina Donnelly, RCN Wales Director, said: “It has been a very busy time, seeking to inform members of the pay deal on offer. Our activists, representatives, pay champions and staff have travelled throughout Wales to ensure that nursing staff who work in the NHS have had the opportunity to explore the pay deal before they voted. Our members have spoken – they have accepted the pay offer. The deal doesn’t mean the fight for fair pay is over and we will need the continued support of members to make sure all of our members receive the pay rise they deserve in the future, wherever they are in the UK.”  


NHS Wales applicable

Please remember that this deal is for staff working in the NHS in Wales only and does not include all RCN members in Wales.  However, the RCN across the UK has agreed to continue to fight for better pay and conditions for all members of the nursing family – whether in the NHS or the independent sector.  Please remember to update your membership details by logging on to MyRCN


The Cabinet Sectary for Health and Social Services and the Welsh Partnership Forum have released statements on the NHS Wales Pay Deal. 


Joint Statement from Welsh Partnership Forum, Pay for Agenda for Change staff working in NHS Wales


On behalf of the Welsh Partnership Forum, Helen Whyley (Trade Union Chair) and Tracy Myhill (Employer Chair) are pleased to announce that following a period of consultation the Trade Unions have unanimously agreed to accept a new three year pay deal for staff employed in the NHS in Wales. The agreement includes:


  • Major increases for staff below top of band through simplifying bands so most staff reach the full rate for the job quicker.
  • Meaningful increases for top-of-band staff who already benefit from the full rate for the job.
  • Removal of band overlaps to ensure promotion comes with a proper pay rise, and to lessen the risk of equal pay challenges.
  • Consolidating the current supplements to the lowest pay bands into the salary rates with further increases for the lowest paid staff by the end of the deal
  • Big improvements to starting salaries to help the NHS in Wales attract and retain new staff.
  • Revised all Wales policies for occupational sick leave and pay progression, and the development of an all Wales Menopause Policy.


The agreement brings NHS Wales pay scales into alignment with the improved rates recently agreed in England. It will ensure that staff who are not at the top of their pay bands move to the full rate for the job more quickly and it is a major step in permanently embedding current low pay supplements into pay scales. 


A key aim of this agreement is to make the whole pay system fairer and better for current and future NHS Wales staff. The changes within the agreement, particularly to the pay structure, can’t be made all at once and they will be spread out over a full three year period with some people doing better than others in individual years as the restructuring to the pay scales is implemented.


All NHS staff on Agenda for Change contracts will get a meaningful pay rise with uplifts being made in the October payroll with backdated pay from 1stApril being paid in November. 



Helen Whyley

Tracy Myhill

Joint Chairs Welsh Partnership Forum Business Committee


Agenda for Change Pay Award and NHS Pay Review Body’s 31st  Report  

Written Statement from Vaughan Gething, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services

Further to my Written Statement on 05 July I am pleased to announce the Agenda for Change multi-year pay and contract reform deal (2018/2019 to 2020/2021) has been unanimously agreed by trade unions in Wales.

NHS staff do a fantastic job in delivering world-class care. Even with increasing pressures on the NHS due to, amongst other things, an ageing population and changing public expectations, they work incredibly hard, always putting patients first and keeping them safe whilst providing the high quality care we all expect.

The new deal will see NHS staff in Wales on Agenda for Change terms and conditions benefit over three years and help deliver better value for money, with some of the most important changes to working practices in a decade.

The deal includes a range of pay and non-pay proposals that will benefit staff and patients. Most NHS staff below the top of their pay band will benefit from pay increases through the re-structuring of the pay bands – higher starting pay, removal of overlapping pay points and shorter pay scales.

The deal also guarantees fair basic pay awards for the next three years to staff who are at the top of pay bands – a cumulative 6.5% over three years.

The agreement will put learning and development right at the heart of local annual appraisals, helping to improve the experience for staff, ensuring they demonstrate the required standards for their role before moving to the next pay point. We know that getting appraisals right helps improve staff engagement and through that better outcomes for patients. In Wales, specific commitments by the Welsh Partnership Forum to improve the health and wellbeing of NHS staff so as to improve levels of attendance and a preventative approach to sickness absence has enabled NHS staff in Wales to continue to benefit from unsocial hours payments during sickness absence.  Additionally, trade unions and employers will also work together to support individuals in our workforce if they face a diagnosis of a terminal illness, and will adopt the TUC “Dying to Work” campaign

In my previous statement I said that the Barnett share alone does not cover the full cost of this agreement so I have decided to invest additional funding to enable this deal to be implemented, in recognition both of the different workforce profile in Wales and the significant reform to the framework. It is right that pay flexibility should be in return for reforms that improve recruitment, retention and boost productivity.

Overall, this pay deal is fair to staff and taxpayers. It will help to improve productivity through stronger evidence based appraisal systems and through that, better staff engagement which we know can help improve outcomes for patients. Work will now continue at pace to ensure staff see the benefits in their pay packets before Christmas. 

Find out more

Please see and download our leaflets for information on the NHS Wales Pay offer:

NHS pay deal workplace events in Wales

Page last updated - 20/09/2018