Plaid Cymru call on Labour government to present improved pay offer using reserve and unallocated funding

Plaid Cymru has called on the Labour Government in Wales to “show real leadership” on the pay disputes after both teachers and nurses today announced further strike action in Wales.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Wales said 12-hour walkouts would be on 6 and 7 February if talks fail to move forward by the end of January. Likewise, teachers will strike in February and March, the National Education Union (NEU) Cymru announced today with strikes scheduled for 1 February, 15 and 16 March.

Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for children and young people Heledd Fychan MS said that her party stood in “absolute solidarity” with all teachers and support staff and called the decision to strike for fairer pay “brave”.


Ms Fychan said the issue of recruitment and retention had existed long before the pandemic and the current economic crisis and urged the Labour Government to show teachers they were valued by offering a fairer pay settlement.


The Plaid Cymru Senedd Member said Labour had the cash to offer both nurses and teachers an improved pay offer through unallocated funding and reserve funds.


Last week, Plaid Cymru said that a pay offer of 8% to Welsh NHS nurses was possible using existing reserves and unallocated funding.

The party said the same was true of an improved pay offer for teachers.

The current pay offer from the Welsh government provides around 4.8% uplift on average for NHS staff and approximately 5% for teachers. To arrive at an 8% initial offer would require an extra £176m and £27m respectively in the current financial year

Plaid Cymru says that the money could come from a combination of the £152.3m of currently unallocated funding in the Welsh Government’s budget, and a draw down from the Wales Reserve in addition to any projected under-spends in current departmental budgets.


Plaid Cymru spokesperson for children and young people Heledd Fychan MS said,


“Plaid Cymru stand in absolute solidarity with all teachers and support staff who have taken the brave step to go on strike to demand the fairer pay settlement they deserve from their government.


“For years, the Labour Government in Cardiff have heard how one in three teachers quit the classroom their first five years in the profession due to workload and working conditions – but have done very little to resolve the issue.


“Just like our NHS, the crisis in recruitment and retention of teachers existed long before the pandemic and cost of living crisis. It’s why in Plaid Cymru’s last Senedd election manifesto we said we would address this by not only making funding available to recruit more teachers but improving the offer for those already in the profession. So, if the Welsh Government is serious about retaining teachers and recruiting new ones – and if we are to fully realise the aspirations of the new curriculum, as well as additional learning needs and Welsh language provision – then they need to show our teachers they value them – that begins with fairer pay.


“This Labour Government have the cash at hand to make an improved pay offer to both nurses and teachers through unallocated funding and reserves. It’s high time they show some real leadership on public sector pay disputes, enter genuine negotiations, and offer a fairer pay offer.


On the nurses strike, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS, Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for health and care, added,


“Our hard-working NHS nurses deserve respect from this Welsh Labour Government for all the work they have put in to care for us when we needed it most. They are over-worked, under-resourced and desperately under-paid. And now they are disrespected.


“This Welsh Labour Government has the money and the means to make an improved offer, through unallocated funding and reserves. What they lack is the will to pay our nurses what they deserve – respect and fair pay.”


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