More than 160,000 workers across the NHS in Scotland are being offered a record 5% pay rise.
Scottish Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said the wages hike – which could amount to £2,400 a year for some employees – was a “demonstration of how much we value our NHS staff who have worked tirelessly to keep us safe during the course of the pandemic”.
The deal, which would apply to nurses, paramedics, allied health professionals and healthcare support staff, is the largest pay rise offered to NHS workers since devolution.
However, union leaders insisted that Scottish ministers needed to “go further on pay for these key workers”.
The GMB trade union said it could not recommend members accept a deal which “doesn’t sufficiently confront soaring inflation and eye-watering energy bills”.
Karen Leonard, the union’s Scotland organiser, insisted: “Frontline NHS services are chronically under-staffed and if we want to improve this for patients then we need to recruit and retain the people needed to deliver them, and that starts with proper value.
“In the grip of the biggest cost-of-living crisis in 40 years, we cannot recommend to our hard-pressed members the acceptance of a deal that doesn’t sufficiently confront soaring inflation and eye-watering energy bills, or a funding settlement that awards the most to the highest earners.”
The proposed 5% rise is the second year in a row the Scottish Government has made a record pay offer to NHS staff – after a 4% increase last year.
The pay rise would be backdated to April 1 2022, with the Government stating that staff could receive an additional £1,000 to £2,400 a year in their pay packets, depending on their role and experience.
Mr Yousaf said: “Our NHS Agenda for Change workforce – like nursing and midwifery staff, porter staff, and therapy staff – have long had the best pay and conditions in the UK, and with today’s offer of a 5% pay rise we’re demonstrating our commitment to ensuring that continues to be the case.
“It is a demonstration of how much we value our NHS staff who have worked tirelessly to keep us safe during the course of the pandemic. ”
He added that “constructive discussions with unions and employers” had resulted in the Government now “are offering the biggest single year NHS pay uplift since devolution”.
After an “exceptionally challenging year” for the NHS, Mr Yousaf said he was “pleased that the Scottish Government is able to recognise the service and dedication of our healthcare and support staff”.
The Health Secretary continued: “Experienced porters will receive more than £1,000 extra, while a healthcare support worker will see more than £1,200 extra. Experienced nurses will see their pay rise by more than £1,600 and an experienced advanced nurse practitioner will receive almost £2,400 more.
“In fact, as we’re building on NHS Scotland staff being the best paid in the four nations – the UK Government would need to deliver pay uplifts of between 6% to 14% to front line NHS England Agenda for Change staff to catch up with pay levels in Scotland.”
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