Nurses working in the NHS in Scotland are set to get a pay rise of 9% over the next three years, after unions in the country agreed a pay offer with the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland employers. NHS staff on Agenda for Change contracts earning under £80,000 will receive their 9% rise spread across the next three years. Those earning more than £80,000 will receive a flat rise of £1,600 per year.
But the deal will see a ‘restructuring’ of pay bands similar to those seen in the deal agreed with NHS staff in England, with a reduction in the number of pay points within each band and removal of overlaps between bands.
The deal is also conditional on further negotiation with unions on sick leave, increments and appraisals, how time off in lieu is currently used within the NHS, and protection of earnings.
The deal will now be put to members of the Royal College of Nursing in Scotland, and members of other unions, to vote. The RCN Scotland consultation will open on Monday 9 July and close on Wednesday 15 August.
The RCN Scotland are encouraging their members to vote in favour, with director Theresa Fyffe claiming that it is the ‘best deal that can be achieved through negotiation at this time’.
She said: ‘This is the largest pay rise offered to nurses in 10 years. It is now time for members to make up their own minds on whether to accept or reject it.
‘It has been a long road to get to this point. Over a year ago we launched the ‘Scrap the Cap’ campaign which paved the way for these negotiations. It’s a success story that shows how our members can have an impact on government economic policy.
‘We will be working hard over the coming weeks to make sure members have all the information they need to understand the deal on offer and how it affects them.’
But Unite the Union have declined to make a recommendation either way, with regional officer James O’Connell stating that while they welcome ‘some aspects’ of the deal, it is only ‘the start of the journey’ for NHS staff in Scotland.
He said: ‘Unite believes that this deal is the best that can be achieved through negotiation, and will make no recommendation to our members that they accept or reject the deal.’
The agreement follows Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement two weeks ago that nurses in Scotland would receive an ‘immediate’ 3% pay uplift.
At the beginning of June, RCN members in England voted to accept the pay offer put to them by the Conservative Government, and agreed with unions and NHS Employers.
By David Swan | Nursing in Practice
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