Almost 150,000 nurses, midwives and paramedics in Scotland are being offered their largest pay rise in a decade.
The Scottish Government announced yesterday that it would be proposing a 9% pay increase for the NHS workers over the next three years.
However, the uplift would be linked to changes in terms and conditions, and opposition politicians said the increase did not go far enough.
Reform of terms and conditions could include updating policies on sick leave and time off for those who have worked extra hours, as well as wider organisational change.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon had already announced a 3% pay rise this year for most NHS staff at the SNP conference earlier this month, but yesterday the same increase was proposed for the following two years as well.
Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “Our NHS is built on the dedication and hard work of healthcare staff up and down the country.
“They are our health service’s beating heart, and I’m proud to be offering them this significant pay rise in recognition for the work they do caring for the people of Scotland.”
Theresa Fyffe, Scotland director at the Royal College of Nursing, said: “This is the largest pay rise offered to nurses in 10 years and we believe it is the best deal that can be achieved through negotiation at this time.
“It is now time for members to make up their own minds on whether to accept or reject it.”
Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesman Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “This pay rise is a welcome step to recognise the admirable work our health professionals do with very limited resources.
“But it will not make up for the pay stagnation and erosion that has happened over the last 10 years the SNP have been in power.”
Scottish Conservative health spokesman Miles Briggs said the pay rise was possible “thanks to the record NHS resources the UK Government has given the SNP government”.
Scottish Labour’s Anas Sarwar said: “While any pay increase is welcome, we need a longer term agreement that restores the value of pay and rewards our amazing NHS staff.”