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Continue voting to strike despite pay talks, nurses urged in Scotland

Pay negotiations have resumed but RCN Scotland says ‘our members and our NHS are at breaking point’ and calls on nurses to make their voices heard

Pay negotiations have resumed but RCN Scotland says ‘our members and our NHS are at breaking point’ and calls on nurses to make their voices heard

Nurses in Scotland are being urged to continue voting for strike action despite unions meeting with the government for pay negotiations.

Health and social care secretary Humza Yousaf and deputy first minister John Swinney met with leaders of healthcare unions, including the RCN, on 12 October after promising to bring a better pay offer to the table.

The Scottish Government declined to reveal the terms of the new offer, but following the meeting Mr Yousaf said: ‘I am grateful to NHS trade unions for meeting with both the deputy first minister and I. We have agreed with staff side

Pay negotiations have resumed but RCN Scotland says ‘our members and our NHS are at breaking point’ and calls on nurses to make their voices heard

Nurse at ballot box in Scotland
Picture: iStock

Nurses in Scotland are being urged to continue voting for strike action despite unions meeting with the government for pay negotiations.

Health and social care secretary Humza Yousaf and deputy first minister John Swinney met with leaders of healthcare unions, including the RCN, on 12 October after promising to bring a better pay offer to the table.

The Scottish Government declined to reveal the terms of the new offer, but following the meeting Mr Yousaf said: ‘I am grateful to NHS trade unions for meeting with both the deputy first minister and I. We have agreed with staff side and employers to continue our discussions.’

RCN members ‘made it clear that yet another pay cut is not acceptable’

RCN Scotland director Colin Poolman urged members to continue to vote for strike action. He said: ‘It shouldn’t take the very real prospect of strike action for the Scottish Government to return to the negotiating table.

‘For too long the government has expected nursing staff to do more for less. Our members and our NHS are at breaking point. Our members have made it clear that yet another pay cut is not acceptable. Our strike ballot continues, and I urge everyone eligible to cast their vote now.’

RCN Scotland members voted to reject the government’s 5% pay offer in August, and their ballot for strike action also includes the college’s members in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Unison is also balloting its members on strike action.

Pay offer in England looks unlikely to increase

Mr Yousaf previously promised he would do everything he could to avoid industrial action this winter, which he said would be catastrophic for the NHS and other services.

Meanwhile, England’s health and social care secretary Thérèse Coffey has said she does not expect to offer a better pay deal than £1,400 – or 4% – and would be ‘respecting the findings’ of the NHS Pay Review Body.

Ms Coffey is yet to meet with any healthcare union leaders. The Department of Health and Social Care did not respond when asked whether she was preparing to extend an invitation to talk with nursing unions.


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