Pay offer for SAS doctors working in Wales

Find out more about the Government's offer to SAS doctors in Wales.

Following intense negotiations with the Welsh Government, the Welsh SAS committee has reached a pay offer which is beneficial for all SAS doctors and which we recommend you vote to accept. Below you can find further information on all aspects of the pay offer.

Pay uplifts

2021 specialty doctor

The 2021 contract specialty doctor pay scale will be uplifted to ensure that it is higher across the scale than the 2008 contract. This offer increases 2021 specialty doctor pay by between 7.24% and 9.2%. This means that it  provides an overall in-year uplift for the 2023/24 pay year of between 8.85% and 10.84%.

This pay offer also ensures that 2008 contract specialty doctors can move to the 2021 contract either this year or next year and receive an increase in pay.

The below chart and accompanying table detail the current pay scale for those on the 2021 speciality doctors contract, the revised pay scale on offer and the difference between the two.

Pay point Current pay scale Pay offer from Welsh Government Pay offer uplift on current pay scale % Cash uplift on existing pay scale Total in year % uplift for 2023/24
1 £52,542 £56,346 7.24% £3,805 8.85%
2 £60,532 £64,915 7.24% £4,383 8.85%
3 £67,480 £72,366 7.24% £4,886 8.85%
4 £74,691 £80,099 7.24% £5,409 8.85%
5 £82,418 £90,000 9.20% £7,582 10.84%

2008 specialty doctor

Through negotiation we have achieved substantial changes to the pay and terms of the 2021 specialty doctor contract and removed many of the barriers which have prevented colleagues from moving to 2021 specialty doctor contracts. Whilst the offer does not include an additional uplift for those on the 2008 contract, the pay uplift on offer for the 2021 specialty doctor contract would mean that all doctors working on the 2008 specialty doctor contract would see a significant uplift in pay either immediately or after their next incremental point if they transfer to the 2021 contract.

The below chart and accompanying table outline the additional pay a specialty doctor working on the 2008 pay scale would receive at each year by moving to the 2021 contract should the current offer be accepted.

Years 2008 contract pay scale Revised 2021 contract pay scale £ if moved to new
0 £47,447 £56,346 £8,899
1 £51,502 £56,346 £4,844
2 £56,778 £56,346 No pay increase to move within this increment year but £8,137 increase if moved in year 3.
3 £59,603 £64,915 £5,312
4 £63,674 £64,915 £1,241
5 £67,732 £64,915 No pay increase to move within this increment but £4,634 increase if moved in year 6.
6 £67,732 £72,366 £4,634
7 £71,878 £72,366 £488
8 £71,878 £72,366 £488
9 £76,028 £80,099 £4,071
10 £76,028 £80,099 £4,071
11 £80,178 £80,099 No pay increase to move within this increment year but £9,822 increase if moved in year 6
12 £80,178 £90,000 £9,822
13 £80,178 £90,000 £9,822
14 £84,326 £90,000 £5,674
15 £84,326 £90,000 £5,674
16 £84,326 £90,000 £5,674
17 £88,475 £90,000 £1,525

For those currently at increment points 2, 5 and 11, although the uplifted 2021 contract would not benefit you in this increment year, you would receive a substantial uplift in pay if you were to move to the 2021 contract after your next incremental step.

2021 Specialists

This offer increases the specialist pay scale by between 6.08% and 8.98%. This means that it  provides an overall in-year uplift for the 2023/24 pay year of between 7.67% and 10.61%.

If the offer is accepted, the starting pay point for 2021 specialists will be higher than the top pay points of both the 2008 and 2021 specialty doctor contracts, this ensures a clear progression path to the specialist grade.

The below chart and accompanying table detail the current pay scale for those on the 2021 specialist contract, the revised pay scale on offer and the difference between the two.

Scale Current pay scale Revised pay scale Pay offer uplift % £ Uplift
1 £83,963 £91,500 8.98% £7,537
2 £89,630 £95,079 6.08% £5,449
3 £95,296 £101,089 6.08% £5,793

Associate specialists

For associate specialists, we have secured an additional 4% uplift to the 2023/24 pay award, this brings the total award to 9% for the year. This uplift ensures that the top pay point of this grade, at which all associate specialists should now be on, remains in line with the mid-point of the consultant pay scale, as is appropriate for these senior, autonomous clinicians.

Pay Scale as at end of March 2023 Proposed Pay Scale (1st Jan 2024) Overall in-year uplift for 2023/24
£63,352 £69,054 9.00%
£68,444 £74,604 9.00%
£73,535 £80,153 9.00%
£80,258 £87,481 9.00%
£86,087 £93,813 9.00%
£88,502 £96,467 9.00%
£91,659 £99,908 9.00%
£94,815 £103,348 9.00%
£97,968 £106,785 9.00%
£101,125 £110,226 9.00%
£104,282 £113,667 9.00%

Changes to the 2021 contracts

  • Premium pay time for 2021 specialty doctor and specialist contracts will now change to 7pm to 7am, instead of beginning at 9pm as before. We are pleased that this brings these contracts in line with previous contracts and other NHS workers in Wales. This removes the most significant barrier to transferring to the 2021 contracts that members cited, making sure that everyone can move to these contracts without consequence and access the higher pay scales as a result.
  • Specialty doctors on the 2008 contract will be provided with the binding contractual right to transfer to the 2021 specialty doctor contract at any time. This means that if the new contract doesn’t offer higher pay this year, you can wait until next year, when it will, before transferring. Increases in pay will be backdated to the date of expression of interest.
  • We were also able to ensure as part of our negotiations that pay changes resulting from the move are backdated to the date the request was made and not to when your job plan is agreed as is currently the case.

Transfer to specialist role

As part of this pay offer, specialty doctors will now be able to request to transfer to the specialist contract. Their request will be considered against the capabilities framework for the role and business need and, if approved, they will transfer to the new contract. This will significantly increase access to the specialist grade for experienced specialty doctors who were being hampered before by employers only being able to hire to new posts with appropriate funding. This offer means that existing specialty doctor roles can simply be converted to specialist roles, with the post-holder in place, where there is justification for doing so.

DDRB reforms

The BMA has longstanding concerns about the effectiveness and independence of the DDRB, the pay review body responsible for reviewing doctors’ pay and recommending annual uplifts. In addition to the reforms secured by our colleagues in the UK consultants committee, we have secured the following reforms to the DDRB process in Wales.  These reforms ensure the actions of the Welsh Government keep pace with the wider reforms to the DDRB terms of reference enacted by UK Government.

  • Support for all changes to the pay review process agreed as part of the England Consultants pay deal in April 2024.
  • To ensure that any remit letter is neutral and solely to start the process and indicate that Wales wants pay recommendations without reference to affordability.
  • To agree that recommendations of the DDRB are only rejected rarely and due to a compelling reason.
  • To ensure that Welsh Government participate in the review process in a timely manner in accordance with the timelines set out by the DDRB.
  • To promptly implement the recommendations of the DDRB upon publication.

Other elements of deal

In order to achieve this pay offer we have agreed that if this offer is accepted we will withdraw the SAS rate card in Wales. We do, however, retain the right to reintroduce the rate card in the event of a future trade dispute.

The pay uplifts will be back dated to 1 January 2024 and this agreement is in addition to the usual pay award process for 2024/25. If the pay recommendation from the pay review body for 2024/25 is below inflation, Welsh Government has committed to further talks with us regarding pay for this year.

Have your say on the SAS pay offer

The offer is being put to BMA members via an online referendum which opened on 12 June and will close at 12 noon on 26 June. Voting links have been emailed, from [email protected], to all eligible members. Your link to vote is unique and should not be forwarded as it can only be used once.

If you cannot find or haven't received your email to vote, check our support page on how to find your email or request a new one.

Still have question on the pay offer?

Email [email protected]