Scottish government must focus on NHS staffing and cost of living crisis in fresh pay talks today, says UNISON

Fresh NHS pay talks involving UNISON negotiators and the Scottish government are due to take place later today (Thursday) concerning wages for the financial year beginning in April, says the union.

The current year’s pay deal (covering 2022/23), which UNISON members voted to accept in December, established that talks for the coming financial year would commence as soon as possible. 

Talks for the current pay year only began three months after NHS staff were due their April 2022 wage rise. And because discussions with the Scottish government began so late in the day, says UNISON, health workers had to wait almost a year for their backdated pay rise. 

UNISON will tell the Scottish government fresh talks must focus on real improvements to reduce the pressures health workers face from the cost of living and NHS staffing crises. 

Chair of UNISON Scotland health committee Wilma Brown said: “It’s good to see the government reaching out to begin NHS pay talks early. A key part of this year’s NHS wage deal was to open the 2023/24 pay talks without delay. 

“UNISON is a key player in the talks and will work to secure a meaningful pay rise for NHS staff as early as possible in 2023.

“Any new pay deal must protect the gains made this year for the lower paid, but also secure fair wage increases across all grades and professions.

“NHS staff are feeling the real impact of the cost of living and NHS staffing crises. There must be real improvements to pay and conditions in Scotland to help start turning NHS services around.”

Notes to editors:

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 administrative workers. The union has membership in every health board in Scotland.

UNISON members should be receiving the 2022/23 uplift in their January pay and lump sum backpay in February salary.

Further information:

UNISON contact details:

Wilma Brown, health committee chair: 07974 027847
Matt McLaughlin, head of health: 07904 341979

Danny Phillips, communication officer: 07717 715277/07944 664110