NHS staff are facing the largest cost of living crisis for a generation. Experts predict that overall costs to households will go up by at least £1,200 in 2022. We think a pay rise is only a real rise if it goes up by more than living costs – a pay rise below inflation is a pay cut.
NHS pay has lost value compared to pay rates in 2010, once you take inflation into account. We think this year’s pay rise should include something to make a start on restoring that value.
We have also seen mounting evidence of a healthcare workforce crisis which, without urgent intervention, will have a significant impact on NHS Scotland both in the short and long term.
Headline pay awards are important but other issues matter too. Over the last months we have heard from lots of members telling us that a range of other earnings issues are affecting them – and their income – just as much.
What we’re doing about it
In Scotland, UNISON, along with other trade unions have submitted a joint pay claim to the Scottish Government on behalf of all staff covered by the agenda for change (AFC) pay arrangements within NHS Scotland. You can read the full claim here
UNISON along with other trade unions have called on pay talks with the Scottish government to address.
• The rising cost of inflation on NHS Scotland Staff and ensure they can cope with rising and rapidly fluctuating costs which may change significantly over the pay year.
• Absorb the impact of increases to pension contributions and changes in taxation.
• Benchmark the bottom of the structure against the Real Living Wage.
• Be a significant down payment on the journey of pay restoration to recognise the years of below inflation pay increases experienced by NHS Scotland Staff.
Achieving a significant pay increase is essential to stem the flow of staff leaving NHS Scotland over the next year. It will also begin to support the retention of current staff as well as contributing to recruiting into the growing number of vacancies across NHS Scotland.
On top of a proper pay rise, we are also calling on the Scottish Government and NHS Employers in Scotland to do 5 key things that we think could have the biggest positive impact on NHS staff if done right.
1. Ensure banding outcomes reflect job content
2. Reward additional hours fairly
3. Prevent burnout by limiting excess hours
4. Support progression and career development
5. Encourage NHS Scotland employers to use recruitment & retention premia (RRP) to recruit
We’re stronger when we stand together.
Some of these issues, like annual increases to pay, can only be addressed by the government. With your help, our collective voice is even louder.
Contact the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care and your MSP to call on the Scottish Government and NHS bodies to act now to put NHS pay right in Scotland in 2022.
Some of these issues can be addressed by your employer. By standing together where you work, we can build the case to get your additional hours recognised and paid, to get jobs graded properly, and ensure everyone is paid correctly for the work they do.
If you are interested in becoming more involved in UNISON speak to your Branch
If you’re not yet in UNISON – join us.
And get active – together we will work together to improve NHS Pay in Scotland.
Make sure your contact details are up to date:
It has never been more important for your contact details to be up to date. Please update your details at My UNISON
The most important information we need right now is your employer, email address, and mobile number or contact your branch.
UK campaign materials are here