Welsh nurses are going to be asked to vote in a ballot regarding an updated offer by the Welsh Government.
According to RCN Wales, the offer relates to numerous non-pay issues, and aims to improve the working conditions for NHS nurses.
According to RCN Wales, the new offer includes:
- developing a national approach to paying bank shifts at substantive grade rates
- flexible working requests agreed as default
- an improved approach to advance rostering
- developing national guidance on the use of recruitment and retention premia
- reviewing national role profiles
- a commitment to ensure nurses are paid properly for hours they overwork
- developing a robust system for logging and claiming additional hours
- assessing the viability of proposals for a 36-hour working week
- setting up a task- and- finish group to find ways to ensure care is delivered in safe and appropriate settings.
This offer is in addition to the previously accepted pay deal for 2022-23 and 2023-24, which have already been put in place.
Members of RCN Wales had embarked on strike action in June 2023, but halted plans for further action in July, due to the government resuming talks regarding the dispute.
Eligible members will be asked to vote in the ballot – which will take place online – between Monday 31 July and Thursday 31 August to decide if they want to accept the new deal. But the union is not making a recommendation for either acceptance or refusal of the offer.
RCN Wales Director Helen Whyley said: “Our members have always acted in the best interests of their profession and the safety of their patients.”
She also noted that, “These improvements could have a significant impact on the working lives of our members and their ability to deliver high-quality patient care whilst maintaining their own wellbeing.”
RCN Wales have said that following the ballot, a decision will be made based on the outcome. Rejection of the deal would lead to a statutory ballot regarding further industrial action. Whilst accepting the offer, will bring the current dispute to a close, allowing a new focus on the NHS pay award for 2024-25.
Helen Whyley concluded: “The campaign will not stop here whatever the outcome. We know that to achieve fair pay and a safely staffed workforce, we need short-, medium- and long-term action from the government and we will continue to demand and secure just that.”
More details of the offer can be found here –