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Nurses in Scotland asked if they would strike in ballot on 5% pay offer

RCN is asking nurses to reject the offer, which many feel doesn’t recognise their value, and say if they would consider industrial action
Image of a female medic casting a ballot

RCN is asking nurses to reject the offer, which many feel doesn’t recognise their value, and say if they would consider industrial action

NHS nurses in Scotland are being asked about possible strike action in a pivotal pay ballot that got under way today.

The launch of RCN Scotland’s consultation follows a public poll that suggests many people feel the Scottish Government’s 5% pay offer for 2022-23 does not recognise the value of nursing staff.

The RCN is urging its members to reject the offer and is also asking whether they would be willing to take industrial action if the majority feel it

RCN is asking nurses to reject the offer, which many feel doesn’t recognise their value, and say if they would consider industrial action

Image of a female medic casting a ballot
Image: iStock


NHS nurses in Scotland are being asked about possible strike action in a pivotal pay ballot that got under way today.

The launch of RCN Scotland’s consultation follows a public poll that suggests many people feel the Scottish Government’s 5% pay offer for 2022-23 does not recognise the value of nursing staff.

The RCN is urging its members to reject the offer and is also asking whether they would be willing to take industrial action if the majority feel it is unacceptable.

The Scottish Government says the 5% increase, which would apply to nurses and most staff on Agenda for Change contracts, is the largest single-year pay rise offered to NHS workers since devolution.

However, a snapshot poll carried out on behalf of RCN Scotland suggests the public feels nurses deserve more.

RCN Scotland board chair Julie Lamberth
Julie Lamberth Picture: John Houlihan

RCN Scotland board chair Julie Lamberth said an above inflation rise was vital to protect patient safety, address staffing shortages and show nursing was valued as a safety-critical profession.

Public survey shows most see offer as ‘less than adequate’

‘Our members are exhausted, feel undervalued and are leaving the profession in large numbers,’ she said. ‘To recruit and retain enough staff to deliver safe and effective care to patients, the Scottish Government must pay nurses what they deserve.’

The RCN Scotland survey, conducted last month, obtained responses from 1,043 people and found 70% felt the 5% offer was ‘less than adequate’ when it came to recognising the value of nursing staff.

It found 80% of respondents felt there were not enough nursing staff in Scotland’s health and care services to provide safe and effective care. Two thirds (66%) identified pay as one of the main factors influencing whether there were enough nurses and healthcare support workers.

RCN Scotland’s pay ballot runs until 4 August.

NHS nurses in other UK nations are waiting to hear what they will be offered for 2022-23. The NHS Pay Review Body has confirmed it has sent its pay offer recommendation for NHS staff in England to the government, but the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) would not confirm yesterday when an offer will be announced, despite it being three months overdue.

The RCN’s Fair Pay for Nursing campaign is calling for a pay rise of 5% above inflation as measured by the retail prices index.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said its offer would ensure staff in Scotland continued to be the best paid in the UK. They said: ‘Experienced nurses will see their pay rise by more than £1,600 and an experienced advanced nurse practitioner will receive almost £2,400 more.’


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