More than 154,000 NHS Scotland staff are to be offered a pay rise of at least 4 per cent in a deal from the Scottish Government.
The move will benefit employees with contracts under the Agenda for Change system, which would also give staff on the lowest pay point a 5.4 per cent increase.
Staff on pay bands 1 to 7 would receive at least a 4 per cent pay rise compared with 2020/21, with workers earning less than £25,000 in 2020/21 guaranteed a minimum increase of more than £1,000 in 2021/22.
1 per cent is not enough
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “Our NHS staff deserve more than applause and 1 per cent is not enough.
“@scotgov is offering a 4 per cent pay rise, which would deliver a guaranteed minimum increase of £1000 for those earning less than £25,000 & 5.4 per cent increase for staff on lowest pay band… and all backdated to December 2020.”
Among those included in Agenda for Change are nurses, paramedics and allied health professionals, as well as domestic, healthcare support staff, porters and other frontline health workers.
The Scottish Government says the deal, if accepted, will be the “most generous National Health Service pay uplift anywhere in the UK”.
“Making the applause real”
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman also tweeted that the move was “making the applause real”.
In a statement, she said: “Following positive discussions with NHS unions and employees, the Scottish Government has put forward an offer of the biggest single pay uplift since devolution for NHS Agenda for Change staff.
“Over 154,000 staff would benefit from this rise, which would see the average pay of a frontline NHS nurse rise by over £1,200 a year.
Our NHS staff deserve more than applause and 1% is not enough. @scotgov is offering a 4% pay rise, which would deliver guaranteed minimum increase of £1000 for those earning less than £25,000 & 5.4% increase for staff on lowest pay band…and all backdated to December 2020. https://t.co/ZsQvXMt16Q— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) March 24, 2021
Exceptionally challenging year
“This deal also includes support staff such as domestic staff, porters and healthcare support workers, the backbone of our services, who would see pay rises of over £1,000 – uplifts of between 4 per cent -5.4 per cent.
“The uplift will be backdated from December 1 2020, rather than the usual April 1 2021, meaning all those covered by the deal will receive an extra benefit.
“This has been an exceptionally challenging year for our health service and I am pleased that the Scottish Government is able to recognise the service and dedication of our healthcare staff.”
One-off ‘thank you’ payment
It comes after NHS workers in Scotland also received a one-off £500 payment from the Scottish Government as a thank you for their work during the coronavirus pandemic.
Colin Poolman, Scottish Terms and Conditions Committee (STAC) chairman and Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Scotland senior officer, described the timescale for negotiations as “tight as a result of the forthcoming election but we have now received an offer for a one-year pay deal”.
The STAC staffside for Agenda for Change includes representatives’ unions including the British Dietetic Association, College of Podiatry, Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, GMB, Prison Officers Association, Royal College of Nursing, Royal College of Midwives, Society of Radiographers, Unison and Unite the Union.
Willie Duffy, STAC staffside secretary and Unison regional organiser, added: “Each of the individual trade unions will now enter into discussions with their members on the offer.”