This site is intended for health professionals only


NHS nurses in Scotland to receive 4% pay rise

Hospital corridor


NHS nurses in Scotland will receive at least a 4% pay rise, the Scottish Government has confirmed, despite two unions voting against the offer.

Staff on Agenda for Change contracts will receive the pay rise backdated to 1 December 2020 after seven out of nine unions voted to accept. But the RCN and the GMB rejected the offer, instead pushing 12.5% and 15% uplifts respectively.

The unions that accepted the deal were Unison, Unite, the Royal College of Midwives, the College of Podiatrists, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, the Society of Radiographers and the British Dietetic Association.

RCN Scotland board chair Julie Lamberth said: ‘Our members rejected this offer. We are disappointed that the Scottish Government has taken the decision to implement it without further discussion.

‘The government must do more to value nursing staff – the biggest part of the NHS workforce. We continue our call for the government to agree to further negotiations and to deliver fair pay for nursing.’

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.

Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon said: ‘This pay rise, the biggest pay uplift for NHS staff since devolution recognises the unwavering commitment of NHS Scotland staff.’

‘If the Department of Health sticks with the offer it has proposed, staff in Scotland will be considerably better off in 2021-22 than their counterparts in England.’

The UK Government drew backlash from nurses after recommending a 1% pay rise for NHS workers in England. But nurses will have to wait until the NHS Pay Review Body, which advises the government on NHS pay, makes its own recommendations in the coming weeks before ministers make the final decision.

This comes after the UK Government revealed in April that it would not join the other UK nations in offering a one-time ‘thank you’ bonus to health and social care staff.

Wales announced it will pay £735 to healthcare staff from this month. Scotland and Northern Ireland also offered a £500 to health and care staff, which Scottish staff received in February and Northern Irish staff will receive in the new financial year.

Scottish pay deal

• Bands 1-4: a flat uplift of £1,009
• Bands 5-7: a 4% uplift
• Bands 8a-8c: a 2% uplift
• Bands 8D-9: a flat uplift of £800