Yesterday (Tuesday) representatives of trade union UNISON met Scottish health secretary Jeane Freeman to request reopening of the present three-year pay deal and to agree a fair pay rise for health workers.
Tom Waterson, chair of UNISON Scotland’s health committee, said: “We’re pleased the health secretary has listened to our members and has recognised the need for them to be paid fairly for the essential work they do.
“The applause and kind words shown during the difficult days of the pandemic were a huge source of comfort to NHS staff, but it’s only right that the government now shows its appreciation in a different way.
“Our NHS staff are just ordinary people who have been thrust into an extraordinary situation. Proper recognition and pay to match it is the least the government can do to show they value the hard work and dedication of our NHS workers, not just during the pandemic but each and every day.”
Willie Duffy, UNISON Scotland’s head of health, said: “Since the start of this pandemic, our NHS workers have shown immense dedication, commitment and compassion and it is time they are fairly rewarded.
“We’re pleased the health secretary has agreed to reopen the present three-year pay deal and reward our NHS staff with a pay rise this year. We hope to move forward quickly to ensure we get pay into the pockets of our hard-working, dedicated NHS workers.”
Ms Freeman said: “The response of NHS staff during this crisis has been extraordinary, and I want to make sure this is recognised.
“I am committed to achieving the fairest possible pay settlement for NHS Agenda for Change staff for 2021-22, working with unions. I have indicated that if we can conclude these negotiations relatively swiftly then I am sympathetic to bringing the implementation date of that settlement forward to an earlier juncture if at all possible.
“This year the majority of NHS Scotland staff including nurses, ancillary, administration and Allied Health Professionals, have received a 2.95 per cent pay rise as part of our three-year NHS Agenda for Change pay deal, which has delivered a minimum nine per cent pay increase for most staff, and over 27 per cent for some still moving up their pay scale.
“This is in excess of the 2.8 per cent uplift announced for NHS dentists and doctors in England and Scotland.”