Scottish nurses to receive 3% pay rise

Scottish finance secretary Derek Mackay outlines increase in pay for public sector workers earning £30,000 or less in yesterday’s budget briefing. 

  • Finance secretary outlines increase in pay for public sector workers earning £30,000 or less 
  • Increase limited to 2% for people earning above £30,000
  • RCN says rise increases pressure on Westminster to close pay gap for nurses in England 

Picture: iStock

Nurses in Scotland are to receive up to a 3% pay rise after the country’s government made a budget pledge to increase public sector pay.

Finance secretary Derek Mackay outlined a proposed 3% increase in pay for public sector workers earning £30,000 or less, during his budget announcement yesterday.

For those earning above £30,000 the increase will be limited to 2% and a cash cap of £1,600 will be applied to those earning £80,000 or more.

£400 million extra funding for Scottish health services

Additional funding of £400 million was also announced for health services across Scotland, as well as a series of income tax changes.

RCN Scotland Director Theresa Fyffe said: ‘The Scottish government has clearly listened to nursing staff who’ve been campaigning for fair pay.

‘Today’s announcement will go some way to addressing the years of pay restraint, however, we have yet to see the detail on how this pay award will be funded. 

‘We have been clear that the NHS cannot be expected to fund this from existing budgets.’

‘Respecting NHS Pay Review Body Process’

Ms Fyffe also said it would be important to understand the implications of changes to income tax on members to be clear on the real benefit of the proposed increase.

During his budget speech, Mr Mackay also said the government would respect the recommendations of independent pay review bodies.

Ms Fyffe added: ‘The finance secretary is committed to respecting the NHS Pay Review Body Process and we will continue to campaign to close the gap while we await the outcome of that process.’

Mr Mackay said the government would retain flexibility towards particular recruitment challenges.

He said: ‘We will be mindful of any developments for NHS staff elsewhere in the UK to ensure that our health service staff are treated at least as fairly as those in any of the UK nations.’

‘Scotland more attractive place to pursue nursing career’

RCN chief executive Janet Davies said the announcement of a 3% pay rise increased the pressure on Westminster to close the pay gap for nursing staff in England in next year’s pay award.

Ms Davies said: The chancellor has said that salary increases above the 1% cap for nursing staff in England will be dependent on “improved productivity”.

‘This pay award will make Scotland a more attractive place to pursue a nursing career. Our members in the rest of the UK will rightly be asking why the same terms can't apply to them.’

The RCN will shortly submit evidence to the pay review body, drawing on the findings of its biennial employment survey of members, exploring how issues of pay, recruitment, retention and morale are linked and affect patient care.  

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