NHS pay in Scotland: 'the biggest rise in a decade'

Nurses on AfC offered 9% pay increase – with reform of terms and conditions
Scottish money

Nurses on AfC are offered 9% pay increase – with reform of terms and conditions

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Nurses in Scotland's NHS are being offered a 9% pay rise over the next three years, overtaking the increase agreed for staff in England.

If health union members vote to accept the offer, a band 5 nurse will earn £1,030 more than their English counterpart by 2020-21, while an advanced nurse practitioner in Scotland at the top of band 7 will earn more than £1,500 more.

The Scottish Government's plans mean those Agenda for Change (AfC) staff currently earning up to £80,000 would receive a cumulative increase of 9%, and those earning £80,000 and over would receive a flat rate increase of £1,600 a year.

Staff below the top of their pay bands would receive any incremental progression due. 

Interim award

Earlier this month, the Scottish Government announced NHS staff would get an immediate 3% pay increase while a longer-term deal is negotiated. This 3% interim increase stands, regardless of whether today's offer is accepted or not – but if the full 9% deal is accepted, it is likely some staff would see a higher increase because of moving up in increments.

RCN Scotland director Theresa Fyffe said the college's Scrap the Cap pay campaign had paved the way for the negotiation in Scotland and said members must now make up their minds on accepting or rejecting the deal.

Theresa Fyffe

Ms Fyffe said: 'This is the largest pay rise offered to nurses in ten years and we believe it is the best deal that can be achieved through negotiation. It has been a long road to get to this point.'

She claimed the proposal is a 'success story' that shows how college members can influence government policy.

'We will be working hard over the coming weeks to make sure members have all the information they need to understand the deal and how it affects them.'

Health secretary Shona Robison said; 'I’m proud to be offering NHS staff this significant pay rise in recognition of the work they do.'

Shona Robison

England deal lags behind

By 2020/21, staff in Scotland will be significantly better paid than NHS staff anywhere else in the UK. Compared to their counterparts in England:

  • Healthcare assistants at the top of Band 3 will be £1,450 better off.
  • Healthcare support workers at the top of Band 4 will be more than £800 better off.
  • Ward nurses at the top of Band 5 will earn £1,030 more.
  • Senior nurses at the top of Band 6 will receive £1,280 more.
  • Advanced nurse practitioners at the top of Band 7 will be more than £1,500 better off.

The pay rise is also linked to the principle of reforming terms and conditions. These include: sickness absence, organisational change and protection of earnings, time-off for working extra hours, and appraisal and career progression.

Details will be discussed between employers, unions and the Scottish Government this year. Changes should be agreed by December 2018.

The unions will consult their members from 2 July-15 August.

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