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Scottish parliament commits to scrapping the pay cap

The Scottish finance minister has committed to lifting the public-sector pay cap in Scotland, but is yet to announce details.
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The Scottish Government has committed to lifting the public-sector pay cap, though it has yet to announce detailed plans.

The pledge, made on 29 June, comes just two days after more than a hundred Scottish nurses held a demonstration in Edinburgh as part of the RCNs summer of protest over the 1% pay cap.

Holyroods finance minister Derek Mackay told MSPs: The Scottish Government will take into account inflation in the future pay policy.

We will take a responsible approach that absolutely recognises that the time is up for the 1% pay cap. Not only will the SNP commit to that, but we will do that.

Making ends meet

Responding to the comments, RCN Scotland director Theresa Fyffe said pay freezes between 2010 and 2012 and the

The Scottish Government has committed to lifting the public-sector pay cap, though it has yet to announce detailed plans.

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A demonstration in Edinburgh against the pay cap. Photo: Greg MacVean

The pledge, made on 29 June, comes just two days after more than a hundred Scottish nurses held a demonstration in Edinburgh as part of the RCN’s ‘summer of protest’ over the 1% pay cap.

Holyrood’s finance minister Derek Mackay told MSPs: ‘The Scottish Government will take into account inflation in the future pay policy.

‘We will take a responsible approach that absolutely recognises that the time is up for the 1% pay cap. Not only will the SNP commit to that, but we will do that.’

Making ends meet

Responding to the comments, RCN Scotland director Theresa Fyffe said pay freezes between 2010 and 2012 and the subsequent pay cap had ‘seen nursing staff struggle to make ends meet’.

‘Pay is a way in which governments can reflect the value which they place on nursing. But getting pay right will also help to tackle the significant challenges which Scotland is facing around the recruitment and retention of nursing staff.’

The Royal College of Midwives welcomed the announcement. The college's Scotland director Mary Ross-Davie said: ‘This is a move we applaud, and it will be very good news for our hard-pressed midwives, maternity support workers and other NHS staff.

‘What is needed now is a fair pay award that makes up for the years of NHS pay restraint, which has seen midwives’ pay drop in value by more than £6,000 since 2010.’

Scottish nurses vacancies currently stand at an all-time high.

The Scottish Labour Party welcomed the proposal, but reminded MSPs that SNP members voted against lifting the cap 50 days ago.

Summer of protest

Scottish parliamentary researchers have estimated the average nurse in Scotland is £3,400 worse off than in 2010, although the Scottish Government has repeatedly said Band 5 nurses are paid between £227 and £312 more than their English counterparts.

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon came under fire in the general election campaign over public-sector pay, being confronted on BBC's Question Time by a nurse who said she used a foodbank.

Her party voted with Labour members in the House of Commons who failed in an attempt to force the UK government to lift the pay cap on Tuesday.

The RCN is continuing its summer of protest and has not ruled out an historic first-ever strike of around 270,000 UK NHS nurses.


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