A THREE per cent pay rise for Welsh healthcare workers is 'not good enough', UNISON has said.

Porters, cleaners, nurses, paramedics and other health workers in Wales have told UNISON the three per cent pay award revealed by Welsh government falls considerably short of their expectations.

They claim the UK and Welsh ministers have failed to grasp that healthcare workers feel they are being taken for granted after working in incredibly tough conditions for 16 months.

The pay award was due in April, but staff have been made to wait until the summer.

The trade union has warned poor morale means people may leave the service and low pay will make it difficult to attract recruits as the NHS seeks to deal with record waiting lists.

UNISON and the other health unions will be writing to the Welsh health minister for urgent talks to boost the pay award.

Paul Summers, UNISON Cymru Wales lead officer for health, said: “It’s incomprehensible why you wouldn’t give healthcare workers a decent pay award after the trauma they have faced during Covid, working hard to save lives and keep us safe.

“The public seems to hold NHS staff in higher esteem than our governments. Three per cent isn’t good enough. It is below the £2,000 pay claim submitted by UNISON for every member of staff and it is even below the four per cent awarded by the Scottish government to their NHS staff. Welsh healthcare workers have every right to question why their government doesn’t value their services as highly as the Scottish government.

“The pay of these workers has been suppressed for ten years. They need a fair boost to their salaries and the NHS does too, to retain and recruit enough staff and deal with the next Covid wave and treatment backlog.

“We want to meet Eluned Morgan and examine how Welsh NHS staff can be better rewarded.”

On July 21, Ms Morgan agreed a three per cent pay rise for all NHS staff, as she accepted the recommendations of the pay review bodies in full

The recommendations from the NHS Pay Review Body and the Doctors and Dentist Review Body apply to staff on Agenda for Change terms and conditions, which includes employed nurses, cleaners, porters and health support workers. It also applies to consultants, doctors in training, pre-2021 speciality and associate specialist (SAS) doctor contracts, salaried GPs and dentists.

Ms 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.

"For our lowest paid staff, this means we have gone above the Living Wage recommendation of £9.50 an hour, demonstrating our commitment to NHS Wales being a Living Wage employer."