NHS staff vote overwhelmingly to accept pay offer

Scotland’s largest health union, UNISON, has today 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.”

Notes to editors

UNISON is the largest union in the NHS representing 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.

Additional information

Read the Scottish Government’s full pay offer here: https://unison-scotland.org/nhs-pay-talks-2023-24/

UNISON Scotland’s reaction to the Scottish government’s taskforce on nursing and midwifery: https://unison-scotland.org/nursing-ministerial-task-force-must-not-be-a-talking-shop-says-unison-scotland/

UNISON’s briefing to MSPs which identifies measures to tackle the crisis in the NHS: https://unison-scotland.org/the-staffing-crisis-in-our-nhs-letter-to-msps/