UNISON Scotland gives a cautious welcome to NHS England Pay deal.

UNISON Scotland has offered a cautious welcome to news that the NHS UK Staff Council have reached agreement on a modernising pay deal for NHS England and is calling in the Scottish Government to enter into talks with NHS unions in Scotland urgently.

Tom Waterson, Chair of the UNISON Scotland Health Committee said, “The NHS England deal is welcome, but it is a matter for our members in England. The additional money from the UK Treasury gives us the opportunity to craft an agreement which is suitable for Scotland and it is important that the Scottish Government grabs that opportunity.”

Commenting on the delay to the pay uplift expected by 1st April, Tom added, “Any moves to negotiate a Scottish deal won’t happen quickly and Scottish NHS workers deserve a pay rise now. UNISON is calling on the Scottish Government to respond to the UNISON pay claim and implement an anti austerity pay rise across NHS Scotland with immediate effect.”

The Department of Health England proposal has been underpinned by a significant investment from the UK Treasury which was, with additional money flowing to the Scottish Government via the Barnett Formula.

Matt McLaughlin, Head of Health for UNISON Scotland said, “There is a lot that is welcome in the proposal tabled by the UK Staff Council. NHS workers in Scotland will now be looking to the Scottish Government with an expectation that hard working, loyal UNISON members in Scotland are no worse off than their colleagues in England or other devolved nations. The onus is on the Cabinet Secretary and the Scottish employers to meet UNISON and sister unions urgently in order to begin discussions on a similar deal for NHS Scotland.”

Editors Notes
The UNISON Scotland pay claim, submitted on 11 Oct, called for a Scottish pay settlement that:
• Enables NHS staff to keep up with costs by matching RPI inflation or 3.9% whichever is greater;
• Starts to restore pay lost during the years of austerity, giving a consolidated sum of £800 to all;
• Restores the living wage for healthcare students including student nurses;
• Invests in improving the NHS Pay structure, making it better able to support workforce productivity improvements;
• Maintains the commitment to realignment for all bands with special attention to career progression for Band 5 nursing staff.

UNISON is the largest trade union in the NHS in Scotland. We represent: nurses and health care assistants; midwives; health visitors; administrative, finance and HR staff; ambulance staff including paramedics, technicians, control room and maintenance staff, therapy and healthcare science staff; estates and housekeeping staff; technicians and maintenance staff; commissioning staff; allied health professionals; scientific staff; healthcare managers.

UNISON Contacts
Matt McLaughlin 07377 452149 / m.mclaughlin@unison.co.uk
Danny Phillips 07944 644110 / 0141 342 2877 / d.phillips@unison.co.uk