UNISON, Scotland’s biggest health union, is calling on the Scottish Government to set up formal structures to negotiate direct with NHS unions in Scotland, and officially leave the UK’s NHS Pay Review Body.
The call comes after NHS members voted to accept a new three year pay deal direct with the Scottish Government after years of being given 1% pay rises from through UK’s NHS Pay Review Body. This is the first year UNISON and other health unions have submitted a pay claim direct to the Scottish Government.
The UK’s NHS Pay Review Body negotiates with health unions on pay on behalf of the NHS across the UK. UNISON members do not believe that the NHS Pay Review Body listens to their concerns. It has been calling on the Scottish Government to set up pay negotiating structures directly with unions in Scotland.
Thomas Waterson, chair of the UNISON Health Committee said: “Today I am pleased to announce that 94% of UNISON members have voted to accept a pay deal which will put an additional £400m into NHS workers pay packets in Scotland. This deal delivers real increases of between 3 and 27% for NHS workers in Scotland. The strong endorsement by UNISON members makes it clear that we do not need to wait cap in hand for the Pay Review Body. This institution as it stands is dead in the water.
Eighteen months ago some people said that we couldn’t negotiate a separate pay deal for NHS workers in Scotland. Then they said that we couldn’t negotiate a better deal for Scotland. The Scottish Government should commit now to develop negotiating structures in Scotland and allow us to self determine on pay.”
Matt McLaughlin, UNISON Scotland Head of Health said: “This is a good result for UNISON members and I am happy that across Scotland we reached out to and engaged with the vast majority of our members. Their decision is a ringing endorsement of the offer.”
Notes for editors:
UNISON was the only major union in NHS Scotland to recommend the deal to members and has engaged in a month long consultation process across Scotland.
• All NHS Scotland staff earning under £80,000 to receive a 3% pay increase backdated to April 1, 2018, with a payment of £1600 for staff earning more than £80,000
• The top of all pay scales to rise by 9% over the lifetime of the three-year deal (including 2018) or £1600 per annum for scales above £80,000
• Larger increments and faster progression for staff in post, but not yet at the top of their pay band – worth between 11.3% and 27.7%
• Removal of band overlaps to ensure promotion comes with a proper pay rise and to lessen the risk of equal pay challenges
• Big improvements in starting salaries to help the NHS attract and retain new staff
• Applies to all NHS contractor staff
The union consulted almost 60,000 NHS workers in Scotland in a four week ballot.
UNISON Scotland contacts:
Thomas Waterson – Chair of UNISON Scotland’s health committee: 07753 627575
Matt McLaughlin – UNISON Scotland’s Head of Health: 07904 341979
Danny Phillips – Communications Officer: 07944 664110 / 0141 342 2877