Strikes: Wales’ education and NHS staff to vote on pay offers

Public sector workers will vote on pay offers from the Welsh government, including a new deal for teachers, in a bid to avert more strikes.

National Education Union (NEU) Cymru confirmed it had received a new offer.

Health minister Eluned Morgan said talks with unions representing nurses, midwives, physiotherapists and ambulance staff have now finished.

Union members will now vote on the offers, but Unite said it was not enough to call off its strikes.

The Welsh government said that, in addition to a 5% pay rise, the revised NEU pay offer comprised an additional 3% this year and 1.5% going forwards.

Previously, the offer was only for the one-off payment of 1.5%, meaning the extra 1.5% added to the proposed pay rise is the new element.

The Welsh government added that it also included “a number of significant non-pay commitments relating to workload in the short, medium and long term”.

David Evans, Wales secretary of NEU Cymru, said members would be “pleased that the Welsh government continues to take negotiations seriously”.

He added: “These were the fullest discussions we’ve had so far, so yes, progress is being made. It is still far short of our demands, but we will make decisions on that in the not too distant future.”

Meanwhile, the GMB, which represents about a quarter of Welsh ambulance staff, said it would give its members until 17 February to decide whether to accept or reject the latest offer, ahead of planned industrial action three days later.

Nathan Holman, GMB Welsh lead, said members would be sent the updated offer and an online ballot on Thursday.

Other unions may take longer to consult with members as they do not have the same deadline of a strike day.

On Tuesday, Unite announced it would hold further strike days on 20, 21 and 22 February, despite the new offer.

SOURCE: BBC

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