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NHS nurse pay: ‘This is our best and final offer’, says minister

RCN considers its response to Scottish Government's improved health service pay offer, which the union says still falls short of nurses’ expectations
Scottish health secretary Humza Yousaf, who has announced the latest NHS pay offer, talks to an NHS nurse

RCN considers its response to Scottish Government's improved health service pay offer, which the union says still falls short of nurses’ expectations

Nurses in Scotland have been given a ‘best and final offer’ on pay following talks between government and unions.

The Scottish Government has announced a pay rise of between £2,205 and £2,751 for all NHS staff on Agenda for Change contracts . Ministers say the ‘record’ offer represents an uplift of about 8.7% for nurses, 11.3% for the lowest-paid staff and will be backdated to April.

But RCN Scotland said the offer still does not meet nurses’ expectations.

Second time ministers have

RCN considers its response to Scottish Government's improved health service pay offer, which the union says still falls short of nurses’ expectations

Scottish health secretary Humza Yousaf, who has announced the latest NHS pay offer, talks to an NHS nurse
Scottish health secretary Humza Yousaf on a recent trip to meet NHS staff Picture: Alamy

Nurses in Scotland have been given a ‘best and final offer’ on pay following talks between government and unions.

The Scottish Government has announced a pay rise of between £2,205 and £2,751 for all NHS staff on Agenda for Change contracts. Ministers say the ‘record’ offer represents an uplift of about 8.7% for nurses, 11.3% for the lowest-paid staff and will be backdated to April.

But RCN Scotland said the offer still does not meet nurses’ expectations.

Second time ministers have increased their offer

It is the second time the government has improved its offer as it bids to avoid strikes. RCN strike dates have now been set in England, Wales and Northern Ireland but were put on hold in Scotland pending the outcome of the latest talks.

The Holyrood government had initially offered a pay rise of 5%, but upped this to around 8.45% after nurses voted to strike.

Health secretary Humza Yousaf said: ‘We have made the best offer possible to get money into the pockets of hardworking staff and to avoid industrial action, in what is already going to be an incredibly challenging winter,’ he said.

‘This best and final pay offer of over half a billion pounds underlines our commitment to supporting our fantastic NHS staff. A newly qualified nurse would see a pay rise of 8.7%, and experienced nurses and would get uplifts of between £2,450 and £2,751.’

The government said the new deal is worth an additional £515 million in 2022-23 and includes a measures to address workforce sustainability and staff and patient safety. It equates to an average pay rise of 7.5% across the NHS, the highest current offer in the UK.

‘Pay offer falls short for nurses’

RCN Scotland director Colin Poolman said the offer did not meet members’ expectations but that RCN Scotland’s board was now formally considering it. The college wants a rise that is five percentage points above inflation, which has been soaring for months.

‘I appreciate it may be frustrating for our members in Scotland, the majority of whom voted very strongly in favour of taking strike action. It was that mandate that encouraged the Scottish Government to re-open negotiations,’ he said.

‘It is right that RCN Scotland board members consider the offer in the usual way.’

The Scottish and Welsh governments have written to England health and social care secretary Steve Barclay urging increased funding for nurses’ pay.


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