NHS Pay 2023/24

UNISON has voted to accept the Scottish government NHS pay offer, in a consultative digital ballot.

  • 78.5% voted to accept in a ballot where 54% of eligible members voted.
  • The deal will see the majority of Scotland’s health workers receive at least 6.5 per cent increase on pay as well as a 1.5 per cent one-off payment.
  • It means that over two years UNISON will have secured a pay rise of over 14 per cent for the majority of registered nurses and almost 20% for the lowest paid workers in the NHS.

UNISON, with other health unions, will work with Scottish government to get pay into next month’s salary.

Chair of UNISON Scotland’s health committee, Wilma Brown said: Whilst acceptance of this pay offer will remove the spectre of industrial action there is no room for complacency. This pay deal does nothing to solve the NHS Scotland staffing crisis! Government commitments to review the working week; deliver fair pay rise on promotion and tackle the workforce crisis must make rapid progress and be backed up with new money to ensure that patients and staff get the NHS they deserve.”

UNISON Scotland head of health Matt Mclaughlin said: “This deal was agreed after intensive talks between the government, unions and employers. We now need to get back around the table to sort out the staffing crisis in Scotland’s NHS. Patients are waiting too long for routine operations and staff are working under unacceptable stressful conditions. We have agreed to go straight back into talks with the government review nursing, to reduce staff vacancies and review NHS pay structures. The NHS needs to be made fit for purpose so staff can provide a world class service.”

The Scottish government has made a pay offer to NHS workers for the financial year starting in April 2023/24. UNISON is recommending members vote to ACCEPT this offer. As always, it’s up to UNISON’s health worker members to decide, so please use your vote.

UNISON Scotland’s digital consultative ballot will open on Wednesday 22 February and close at noon on March 17.

Read the full offer here:

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Short summary of the offer

This pay offer would see the majority of Scotland’s health workers receive a one-off payment of at least £387 plus at least a 6.5% pay rise.

If accepted, it would mean that over two years UNISON will have secured a pay rise of over 14% for most registered nurses, and almost 20% for the lowest paid workers in the NHS.

Offer is made up of three parts

  • Part 1: A lump sum / one-off lump sum payment, sometime described as a non consolidated payment. A non consolidated payment is a one off payment which does not increase your overall salary or scale point value.
  • The additional one-off payment for 2022/23, will be worked out as the equivalent to three calendar months value of the difference between the 2022/23 and the 2023/24 pay rates calculated on an employee’s basic rate of pay and will be paid on a pro rata basis.
  • Part 2: A % increase to your pay scale – this increases the pay scale
    *taken together Part 1 and Part 2 of the offer make a total increase
  • Part 3: An agreement to review pay elements of Agenda for Change for future implementation which has at it’s a core commitment to modernise NHS Scotland pay in order to recruit, retain and reward the workforce.

Read the review of agenda for change:

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UNISON entered the 2023/24 pay talks with four objectives:

  1. Increase the total amount available for pay by no less than we agreed for 2022/23
  2. Ensure that any award for 2023/24 did not roll back gains we have made for low paid workers,
  3. Show our members in grades 5/6/7 that we had listened to their concerns from last year and a settlement for this year which spread the overall uplift further.
  4. Push the boundaries of Scottish Governments ‘pay cap’ for higher bands


Last November, UNISON members voted to accept the Scottish government’s deal on NHS wages for the current pay year ending in March 2023. That included a commitment to get the next set of pay negotiations going early so that health workers could receive the wage rise due in April 2023 on time. UNISON is pleased that the Scottish government has kept to this timetable.

UNISON Scotland’s health committee met to consider the 2023/24 pay offer and recommended members vote to ACCEPT.  UNISON NHS members were balloted on the pay offer, which closed on March 17.

As always, no matter what the committee recommend, it’s up to members to decide.

More about UNISON

UNISON is the largest union in the NHS. UNISON Scotland represents 50,000 NHS workers across Agenda for Change including: nurses, midwives, managers, domestics, porters and admin workers. The union has membership in every health board in Scotland. Agenda for Change (NHS terms and conditions) cover most health workers in the NHS apart from doctors and dentists.

Archive resources from the NHS pay campaign

Colours may appear differently on screen and in print.

A5 size

thumbnail of A5 Health pay ballot poster

A4 size

thumbnail of A4 Health pay ballot poster

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A3 size

thumbnail of A3 Health pay ballot poster

thumbnail of A3 NHS pay I voted thumbnail of A3 NHS pay have you voted thumbnail of A3 NHS pay ballot board