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Nurses in Scotland urged to reject 5% pay offer in ballot

Scottish Government’s offer fails to recognise the safety-critical role of nursing, soaring cost of living and years of below-inflation pay awards, says RCN
Picture shows a figure placing a vote in a ballot box, with the Scottish flag in the background

Scottish Government’s offer fails to recognise the safety-critical role of nursing, soaring cost of living and years of below-inflation pay awards, says RCN

Nurses in Scotland are being urged by the RCN to reject the Scottish Government’s 5% pay offer in an upcoming ballot.

The college says the offer fails to recognise the safety-critical role of nursing, the soaring cost of living and years of below-inflation pay awards.

It will consult members next month about the acceptability of the pay offer and their willingness to take industrial action, up to and including strike action, if the majority of members vote to reject the offer.

Scottish Government’s offer fails to recognise the safety-critical role of nursing, soaring cost of living and years of below-inflation pay awards, says RCN

Picture shows a figure placing a vote in a ballot box, with the Scottish flag in the background
Picture: iStock

Nurses in Scotland are being urged by the RCN to reject the Scottish Government’s 5% pay offer in an upcoming ballot.

The college says the offer fails to recognise the safety-critical role of nursing, the soaring cost of living and years of below-inflation pay awards.

It will consult members next month about the acceptability of the pay offer and their willingness to take industrial action, up to and including strike action, if the majority of members vote to reject the offer.

Julie Lamberth
Julie Lamberth Picture: John Houlihan

RCN Scotland board chair Julie Lamberth said the argument for an above-inflation pay increase for nursing staff was ‘more compelling than ever’.

‘Just over one year on since we consulted RCN members in Scotland on an NHS pay offer, it feels like nothing very much has changed,’ she added.

Largest single-year pay offer to NHS workers since devolution – but unions say it must go further

‘We are all more exhausted and long-standing issues such as low staffing levels, record vacancy levels and more colleagues off sick continue to take their toll.

‘We believe the nursing profession deserves fair pay that recognises our contribution, supports retention and recruitment to ensure patient safety and compensates for the failure of salaries to keep up with the cost of living over the past ten years.’

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

But in recent days unions have said the offer needs to go further. On 23 June Unison Scotland’s health committee, which represents health staff in the union, also recommended their members to reject the offer.

The RCN consultation will open on Tuesday 12 July and close on Thursday 4 August.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said it was disappointing that the college was recommending members to reject the offer, adding that such an increase ‘would ensure staff continue to remain the best paid in the UK’.

The government in Westminster is imminently expected to announce what pay rise NHS staff in England will be awarded for 2022-23, with an announcement by the Welsh Government expected to follow.

The situation in Northern Ireland is complex as a government has not been formed following elections in May.


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RCN: Members urged to reject Scottish Government pay offer in upcoming ballot

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