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Nurses in England face pay-rise inequality as counterparts in Scotland get better offer

NHS pay proposal in Scotland ‘should shame’ Boris Johnson into improving plan for England

Nurses and other staff on Agenda for Change contracts in England face prospect of significantly lower pay rise than counterparts in Scotland in 2021/22

Prime minister Boris Johnson should be shamed into increasing the heavily-criticised 1% pay proposal for Englands NHS nurses, in light of a 4% offer announced in Scotland, say unions.

The 2021/22 pay round offer for staff on Agenda for Change (AfC) contracts would boost the average pay of a front-line NHS nurse by more than 1,200 a year, Scottish ministers say.

It would be backdated to December 2020, and is on top of the one-off 500 COVID-19 thank you bonus paid to NHS and social care staff in Scotland.

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Nurses and other staff on Agenda for Change contracts in England face prospect of significantly lower pay rise than counterparts in Scotland in 2021/22

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Prime minister Boris Johnson should be shamed into increasing the heavily-criticised 1% pay proposal for England’s NHS nurses, in light of a 4% offer announced in Scotland, say unions.

The 2021/22 pay round offer for staff on Agenda for Change (AfC) contracts would boost the average pay of a front-line NHS nurse by more than £1,200 a year, Scottish ministers say.

It would be backdated to December 2020, and is on top of the one-off £500 COVID-19 ‘thank you’ bonus paid to NHS and social care staff in Scotland.

‘Westminster could learn from the approach to NHS pay in Scotland’

The announcement follows negotiations between the Scottish Government and health unions, including the RCN.

Unison head of health Sara Gorton said: ‘Valuing health staff and investing in the NHS is a political choice. One that Boris Johnson and chancellor Rishi Sunak are not choosing to make,’ she said.

‘The Westminster government should learn from the approach being adopted north of the border on NHS pay and be shamed into following the Scottish example.’

Unions have now written to Mr Johnson urging him to reconsider the 1% pay proposal, adding NHS staff had been left bewildered as they contrast the pay offer in Scotland with plans for the rest of the UK.

The unions also highlight the new financial year begins in one week - when a new pay deal should have been in place - and accuse the government of 'deliberately delaying' deliberations until the summer.

Nurses in Scotland to be consulted on pay offer

The RCN is campaigning nationally for a one-year 12.5% pay rise for all nursing staff on AfC contracts.

RCN Scotland director Susan Aitkenhead said the offer would be put to college members in the coming weeks.

‘The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly demonstrated the unique value of the nursing profession and our campaign for fair pay for nurses continues,’ she said.

NHS Pay Review Body process

The NHS Pay Review Body is considering submissions on the 2021/22 pay round – including the government’s 1% proposal – and is due to report to ministers in May.

The RCN and the Unite union have warned of possible industrial action if the government in England fails to improve its offer.


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