UNISON Scotland welcomes breakthrough in tackling low pay in the NHS

Date: Friday 3 July 2015

UNISON Scotland’s Health Committee today welcomed a breakthrough in the fight against poverty pay with the Scottish Government agreeing to a review of the lowest pay band.

This development highlights the benefits of Partnership working which has been the basis of industrial relations in NHSScotland since 1999 and further enshrines the commitment of Scottish Government and the Trades Unions to eradicating low pay in the NHS. We further believe that this gives NHS Scotland an opportunity to promote career progression within the Agenda For Change framework.

‎Tom Waterson Chair of UNISON Health Committee said “this initiative with the Scottish Government is a major step forward to fulfilling our commitment and indeed Scottish Government’s commitment to improving the lives of our dedicated NHS staff. Further, to have done so without any disruption to our Health Service and our membership again shows what can be achieved when all the parties engage in partnership working.”

Regional Organiser for NHS Glasgow and Clyde, Matt McLaughlin said, “Scotland’s biggest Health Board worked actively with UNISON to invest in support staff, the result provided a higher salary for low paid workers, but it also ensured that the skills, flexibility, range of duties and of course recruitment and retention were significantly enhanced, providing many benefits for the health board and a direct benefit to patients.”

For further information contact:
Tam Waterson Chair of UNISON Scotland’s Health Committee 07753 627 575
Matt McLaughlin, UNISON regional organiser 07904 341 979

Notes for editors  

Recently published Scottish Govt workforce statistics confirm that:

There are around 19000 ( headcount) support staff in NHS Scotland the majority of which are domestics, catering assistants, porters.

5500 are paid the lowest pay band (1) with 91% of these workers being at the top at the top of their salary scale.

NHS Scotland already pays the living wage (£7.85per hour) increasing all staff to band 2 would allow low paid workers the opportunity to earn an extra £420 in the first year with the opportunity to increase earnings via annual increments to £17803 per year.