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Unions advise Scottish nurses to reject 4% pay offer

Nurses walking in hospital


Unions have urged NHS staff in Scotland to reject a proposed pay rise of at least 4% offered by the Scottish Government.

The RCN has instead pushed for a 12.5% wage boost and GMB Scotland for 15%, with members from both unions advised to reject the offer. Unison does not yet have an official position.

Chair of the RCN Scotland board Julie Lamberth said: ‘We believe the nursing profession deserves fair pay that recognises our contribution, supports retention and recruitment, and compensates for the failure of salaries to keep up with the cost of living over the last ten years.’

Ms Lamberth called on governments across the UK to show ‘exhausted’ nursing staff they are ‘valued’ through a higher pay rise.

The Scottish Government has said the pay offer would give more than 154,000 staff in Scotland at Agenda for Change bands 1 to 7 at least a 4% pay boost – including nurses, paramedics and allied health professionals, as well as non-clinical staff such as porters.

Staff on the lowest pay point would get a 5.4% pay rise, meaning those earning under £25,000 would get a minimum increase of £1,000. Those on the highest pay points would receive an extra £800. On average, a frontline nurse will receive an extra £1,200 a year.

Pay deals are usually effective from April, but the Scottish Government said the 2021/22 settlement will be backdated to December 2020 after ‘an exceptional year of significant pressure for staff’.

Last week, NHS nurses and staff demonstrated against the Scottish pay offer in Glasgow.

It follows the UK Government’s proposed 1% pay rise for NHS workers in England, which also drew backlash from nurses.

GMB Scotland organiser Karen Leonard said: ‘We see this pay offer for what it is: A pre-election punt by an outgoing health secretary that looks better than it really is when put up against the insulting 1% increase for our NHS colleagues in England.

‘The offer doesn’t value our members properly, it doesn’t restore the pay they’ve lost after a decade of cuts, and it doesn’t secure their future. That’s why are recommending its rejection.’

Scotland has also offered a £500 bonus to health and social care staff on top of any pay rise. This leaves England the only country in the UK not to have issued a one-time bonus.