Health Secretary to meet UNISON members to discuss reopening of NHS pay deal

Jeane Freeman, Cabinet Secretary for Health, has agreed to meet with UNISON members tomorrow (Tuesday) following a series of socially-distanced demonstrations that are taking place across Scotland.

UNISON, Scotland’s largest health union, are holding the demonstrations tomorrow as part of the union’s Pay Up Now campaign calling for a pay rise for NHS staff.

Tam Waterson, chair of UNISON’s health committee, said:

“We’re glad the Cabinet Secretary for Health has agreed to meet with our members, to listen to their concerns and hear why the Scottish Government must reopen the three-year pay deal.

“Our dedicated NHS staff have suffered real-term pay cuts over the last decade with significant extra costs over this pandemic. This includes extra childcare costs because they are working extra shifts; extra transport costs because of restricted public transport; extra costs because they have being isolating from family; or even extra laundry costs and buying personal PPE.

“These are just ordinary people thrust into extraordinary events and they deserve our support. It’s time for the Scottish Government to do the right thing, to reopen pay talks and to Pay Up Now.”

Willie Duffy, UNISON’s head of health, said:

“The public support for our heroic NHS workers throughout this pandemic has been amazing.

“Our politicians were happy to go out and clap for them every Thursday night but it’s time they showed their appreciation by putting money in the pockets of our hard-working health workers.”



UNISON is the biggest trade union in the NHS and the biggest trade union in Scotland.

UNISON will hold socially distanced demonstrations across Scotland on 18 August. The demonstrations are the next stage in UNISON’s campaign for a pay rise for NHS staff.

The trade union is calling on the Scottish Government to reopen the NHS three year pay deal, and for ministers to sit down with the trade unions to discuss a pay rise for all NHS staff.

UNISON Scotland contacts

Tom Waterson, chair of health committee: 07753 627 575
Willie Duffy, head of health: 07904 342 129
Trisha Hamilton, communications officer: 07943 507 307