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NHS staff in Scotland to be offered 4% pay rise after ‘exceptionally challenging year’

NHS staff across Scotland have been praised for their efforts during an "exceptionally challenging year".
NHS staff across Scotland have been praised for their efforts during an "exceptionally challenging year".

NHS staff in Scotland have been offered a 4% pay rise.

The Scottish Government says the offer will benefit 154,000 employees across the country, including nurses, paramedics, healthcare support staff, porters and other frontline workers.

The proposal, which has been announced tonight, follows negotiations between officials and workforce representatives and will now be discussed by unions.

It is understood it could take up to seven weeks before it is known whether the offer has been accepted.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman.

The move comes after widespread criticism of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s offer of a 1% pay rise for staff, saying it was “as much as we can give”.

Staff earning less than £25,000 will be guaranteed at least an extra £1,000 with the increase capped to those on pay band seven, who will receive an extra £800.

The average increase is expected to be an annual £1,200.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says NHS staff “deserve more than applause” – adding that a 1% rise “is not enough”.

The Scottish Government has also offered to backdate the offer to December 2020 in recognition on an “exceptional year of significant pressure for staff”.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman 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.

“More than 154,000 staff would benefit from this rise, which would see the average pay of an front line NHS Nurse rise by over £1,200 a year.

“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.”

The Scottish Government has been negotiating with the Scottish Terms and Conditions Committee (STAC), which includes representatives from 10 different unions.

Colin Poolman, STAC chairman and the Royal College of Nursing’s Scotland senior officer, said: “The timescale for negotiations was tight as a result of the forthcoming election but we have now received an offer for a one-year pay deal.”

Willie Duffy, STAC secretary and Unison regional organiser added: “Each of the individual trade unions will now enter into discussions with their members on the offer.”

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