Despite some unions still being in disagreement over last year's agreement, the Scottish government has made a new pay offer for NHS employees for this year.
A one-time payment and an average salary increase of 6 point five percent have been offered to NHS employees, including nurses, midwives, and paramedics.
The offer for 2022, which is worth an average of about 7 point 5 percent, has already been accepted by Unison and Unite.
But there is still a disagreement with the Royal College of Nursing Scotland (RCN).
The RCN, the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), and the GMB all have the right to strike, but they decided to postpone it while talks on the 2023 offer were ongoing.
The new offer, according to the Scottish government, would make Scotland's NHS employees the highest paid in the UK.
In order to consult its members, Unison has accepted the offer. This will start next week.
According to the Scottish government, an additional £568 million will be added to the offer made to the 160,000 employees of NHS Scotland who have contracts under the Agenda for Change in 2023–2024.
An increase of at least 6% will be seen among the staff up to Band 8a.
Additionally, each employee will receive a one-time payment ranging from £387 to £939, depending on banding.
Consolidated over two years, some examples of pay increases include:.
- Experienced porters (band 2) are paid an additional £3,750 (19.1%).
- Experienced healthcare support staff (band 4) are paid an additional £4,00. fifteen percent.
- Experienced paramedics (band 6) are paid an additional £5,360 (13.22 percent).
- Advanced nurse practitioners with experience (band 7) are paid an additional 12 point 4 percent, or more than £5,900.
According to the official pay offer, a £1 billion investment over two years will result in pay increases for employees ranging from 5 point 4 percent to 19 point 26 percent, or a pay increase of between £3,753 and £6,506.
No effort had been spared, according to Health Secretary Humza Yousaf, to make an offer.
"Over the two years of this £1 billion increased investment in NHS Agenda for Change, a newly qualified nurse would see their pay increase by 15 point eight percent, and experienced nurses at the top of band five would see a pay improvement of over £4,700," he claimed.
This guarantees that NHS Agenda for Change employees in Scotland receive the highest pay in the entire UK. In fact, the UK government would need to offer increases in 2023/24 of over 14% at the top of band 5, over 13% at the top of band 6, and over 12% at the top of band 7 for NHS England to catch up with Scotland.
"We know that our staff is the very foundation of the NHS and we are committed to supporting them, especially during a cost of living crisis. Therefore, we have made difficult decisions to find this money within the health budget. I appreciate the team's ongoing efforts and that the unions will now present this to their members. ".
NHS employees were understandably irate that the government took so long to resolve their pay claim from the previous year, according to Wilma Brown of Unison's health committee. Getting a guarantee that negotiations wouldn't be put off until the following pay year was crucial for this reason.
"It's encouraging to see that the government paid attention and has already made an offer for the upcoming year, well in advance of the start of the calendar year. As soon as possible, the union will start consulting with NHS members. " .
Matt McLaughlin, the union's director of health, said: "This is a credible pay offer for NHS workers, and it merits careful consideration. As always, acceptance is up to the health representatives of Unison.
"NHS employees in Scotland already receive the highest pay in the UK. If the offer is accepted, the majority of the staff will receive at least 6 point 5 percent added to their pay scales in addition to a one-time payment of £387.
Thus, over a period of two years, Unison will have achieved a pay increase of more than 14% for the majority of registered nurses and nearly 20% for the lowest paid in the NHS. ".
RCN Scotland stated that its board members would carefully consider the offer.
Colin Poolman, the company's director, stated that it was the right choice to see these negotiations through to the end because negotiations are the preferred method of resolving disputes. The Scottish government returned to the negotiating table as a result of the RCN members' insistence on a very strong strike mandate.
"We currently have a new offer up for consideration, and as in the past, the RCN members will decide what happens next. RCN Scotland board members examine the offer in-depth to start the process. " .
The fact that Unison has embraced this new pay offer may not come as a surprise. They represent a higher percentage of lower paid NHS employees than any other healthcare workers union and, by the end of last year, had already withdrawn the threat of any strike action. The deal will still be discussed with members, though.
Two other unions, including the Royal College of Nursing, still have the right to strike. In response to this offer, the RCN has issued a cooler. It states that members will make the decision. Strike action is currently halted though.
With this agreement, charge nurses could earn 6.5 percent more while also receiving a one-time bonus and having their working hours reviewed. .
Additionally, it does not apply to physicians or dentists whose pay is negotiated at the UK level. Additionally, junior physicians will consult about the possibility of a strike action soon.