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Nurse pay: Unison to ballot NHS members on industrial action after breakdown in talks

Unison Scotland's pay up now campaign is calling for three-year deal to be renegotiated 

Unison Scotlands pay up now campaign calls for three-year deal to be renegotiated in light of the pandemic

Talks with the Scottish Government on a new pay deal for NHS staff have broken down, according to union officials.

Unison the union said a consultative ballot on industrial action will be held after failing to see progress from a meeting with cabinet secretary for health and sport Jeane Freeman more than one month ago.

Unisons pay up now campaign is calling for the three-year NHS pay deal to be renegotiated in light of the pandemic and extra costs incurred by healthcare workers.

Unison Scotland’s pay up now campaign calls for three-year deal to be renegotiated in light of the pandemic

A Unison Scotland ballot box

Talks with the Scottish Government on a new pay deal for NHS staff have broken down, according to union officials.

Unison the union said a consultative ballot on industrial action will be held after failing to see progress from a meeting with cabinet secretary for health and sport Jeane Freeman more than one month ago.

Unison’s pay up now campaign is calling for the three-year NHS pay deal to be renegotiated in light of the pandemic and extra costs incurred by healthcare workers.

Discussions with the health and sport secretary have been ongoing for several months.

Ongoing discussions between Unison and Scottish Government ‘no further forward’

Jeane Freeman, Scotland's cabinet secretary for health and sport
Jeane Freeman

Unison’s head of health Willie Duffy said members were disappointed and angry with the government and had been left with no other choice but to consider industrial action.

‘They are happy to praise our NHS workers and offer warm words on pay, but are unable to back that up by putting money into the pockets of our hard-working and devoted NHS staff,’ he said.

‘The last thing our members want to do at this time is disrupt NHS services, but more than a month on from our talks with Jeane Freeman we are no further forward.’

Unison are campaigning for a significant consolidated pay increase for this year backdated to April to recognise the contribution of NHS staff during the pandemic.

Pay talks ‘have not broken down’ – we’re committed to fair deal, says government

A Scottish Government spokesperson said they remained committed to delivering the fairest pay deal possible for health staff in 2021-22, and were disappointed with Unison’s actions.

‘Talks have not broken down and we remain in active discussions with all parties through the Scottish Terms and Conditions Committee, and have been meeting frequently, most recently yesterday, to conclude a negotiating mandate so a formal pay negotiation can begin,’ they said.

‘The cabinet secretary for health and sport has reaffirmed her commitment to expedite negotiations and to consider bringing forward the agreed pay settlement to an earlier juncture if it is possible to conclude negotiations before the start of the new financial year.’

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