The Welsh Government has re-opened pay negotiations with the Royal College of Nursing following a threat of further strikes, it has been announced.
This comes as the government said earlier this week that it would implement its latest NHS pay offer for 2022-23 after it was narrowly accepted by trade unions as a collective.
“Once again, our members have sent a message that is loud, clear and strong enough to bring the government back to the table”
However, RCN Wales remained against the offer, after its members overwhelmingly rejected it in a consultative ballot.
This afternoon, Helen Whyley, RCN director for Wales, announced that the Welsh Government had agreed to re-open negotiations with RCN Wales regarding pay, terms and conditions for nursing staff.
She added that “detailed negotiations” were set to commence next week.
Ms Whyley said: “The minister for health and social services’ confirmed this course of action following our request for urgent re-commencement of negotiations this week.
“Once again, our members have sent a message that is loud, clear and strong enough to bring the government back to the table.”
The offer, which the government previously said was the maximum it could afford, comprised a 1.5% consolidated annual salary increase and a 1.5% one-off payment, and is on top of the 4-5% already implemented for 2022-23.
Earlier this week, health unions in Wales voted as a collective to accept the final NHS pay offer from the Welsh Government, but some individual unions, such as the RCN, opposed it.
RCN Wales then wrote to the health minister calling for negotiations to recommence and warned that if it did not hear back by Tuesday 7 March it would announce new strike dates.
Ms Whyley added: “The minister acknowledges the RCN’s rejection of the additional offer alongside the wider NHS Wales Trade Union Group narrow majority to accept.”
The Welsh Government has been contacted for comment.