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AMs' pay hike would insult health workers says union

Unison, one of the unions that recently agreed a Welsh NHS pay deal, is opposing the £10,000 increase proposed by the AMs' pay review body. The union reluctantly accepted that Welsh Government couldn't afford a 1% increase recommended for health workers this year.

A £10,000 pay rise for Assembly Members cannot be justified, particularly when you take into account the struggle that so many working people are experiencing day in and day out.

Unison argues that the outcomes of pay review bodies should be respected, however, the Welsh Government were unable to implement the 1% pay review recommendation made for health workers due to financial constraints placed on them from Westminster.

With this in mind, not only would it be a case of double standards if AMs accepted an 18% pay award, but it would also be an insult to health workers across Wales.

We are urging AMs to reject the pay recommendation. Our members deserve to be paid fairly for the work that they do and until this can be achieved, it would be unjust for AMs to accept a pay increase, especially of this magnitude.

– Unison Cymru/Wales Secretary Margaret Thomas

First Minister 'can't see' support for pay rise plan

The First Minister says he can't see how his Labour group can support a proposal to increase AMs by nearly £10,000 a year.

Speaking in his position as leader of the Welsh Labour group in the Assembly, Carwyn Jones says...

I was as surprised as anyone at the proposals we have seen come forward. I recognise of course in these difficult times how people will feel about this and I can't see how we could support the proposals as they stand.

However, we should not attack the remuneration board. They are independent of Government and of the National Assembly, and this process was established with cross-party support.

It is now for people to respond to the consultation process - I know that the Labour Group has already aired their concerns about the headline proposals and will be responding formally, to the full report, in due course.

– Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister


'Frustrated' Lib Dems explain why they're backing Welsh Government smacking committee move

The Welsh Liberal Democrats say they're 'frustrated' at having to back a Welsh Government move setting up a committee to look at changing the law on smacking. Supporters and opponents of calls for a smacking ban have criticised ministers for 'delaying tactics.'

There's been criticism too of the Lib Dems for supporting the move. But a spokesperson says they see it as the 'best option available.'

We are voting for the committee to be formed as we think it's the best option available to move the debate forward. We're frustrated with the position and see no reason for the committee to take as long as is envisaged in the terms of reference.

– Welsh Liberal Democrat spokesperson
  1. Adrian Masters

Ann Clwyd to face selection challengers

Ann Clwyd MP Credit: PA, Dominic Lipinski

Ann Clwyd will face a selection challenge from three other people to fight the Cynon Valley in the 2015 election, despite being the constituency's MP for 30 years.

Labour chiefs insisted that there should be a selection contest because Ms Clwyd had initially decided to stand down and then changed her mind. That followed a row over the use of an all-women shortlist. You can read more details by clicking here.

Now the party has confirmed that Ann Clwyd will face challenges from three other women. They are: Katie Antipass, Susan Pickering and Aysha Raza.

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