UNISON secures above inflation pay offer for NHS staff

Scotland’s biggest health union, UNISON has reacted positively to a draft joint statement on NHS pay which, if agreed, would secure an immediate above inflation 3% wage rise for the all NHS workers in Scotland.

Speaking at the union’s annual health conference in Brighton, Chair of the UNISON Scotland health committee, Tom Waterson said: “It was UNISON’s campaign in health, and across the public sector, which convinced the Scottish government to scrap the pay cap. It has tabled a pay remit paper that says all staff earning less than £80,000 are to receive an immediate 3% increase on pay and allowances, while talks craft a Scottish version of the NHS offer currently being consulted on in England.

“UNISON Scotland accepts the offer of 3% and demands that it ‘s implemented without further delay. This agreement is an important first step to securing a Scottish deal for Scottish NHS workers, and we’re determined that it will deliver for our staff and roll back the pain of austerity.

“There appears to be a view that the 2018 pay award should be held off until the NHS pay offer is concluded in England. That is not acceptable. Shona Robison, cabinet secretary for health has committed to giving NHS workers a pay rise, the government has promised 3% and UNISON won’t allow anyone to delay the implementation of that rise.”

The pay remit is expected to be discussed over the next few days by Scotland’s health unions. If agreed it would secure a “no detriment” deal, ensuring that Scottish NHS workers would not be worse off than their English colleagues, who are currently being balloted on a pay offer in England.

UNISON Scotland head of health Matt McLaughlin said: “Today’s agreement on a pay remit for NHS Scotland is a first step towards a more detailed review of NHS terms and conditions. UNISON was unwilling to accept that this year’s pay rise was linked to those discussions, especially when we don’t know what, if any, impact the NHS offer in England will have on funding for pay. UNISON members can be assured that any future proposal will only be acceptable, if and when they vote for it in a ballot.”

Notes of editors:
– UNISON isn’t balloting NHS Scotland members on the England offer, but has committed to do so on the final outcome of Scottish negotiations.

– The joint pay remit statement tabled by the Scottish government commits: to seek a negotiated settlement between Scottish government, employers and staffside to cover all Agenda for Change staff for the three financial years 2018/19 to 2020/21. For the financial year 2018/19, the pay deal should deliver a 3% uplift for the majority of staff as well as deletion of the lowest points on existing pay scales, and be based on the principle of no detriment with regard to the recent English Agenda for Change pay deal.  All changes will be prospective from 1 April 2018, with pay backdated appropriately.

– For the financial year 2019/20 and 2020/21, we will begin negotiations in line with the Scottish government’s commitment to use all of the consequentials for reform to the Agenda for Change pay structure in Scotland, as well as the principle of no detriment for NHS Scotland staff.  Any agreed changes to pay structure, terms and conditions will be aimed, firstly, at ensuring we retain suitably qualified staff to meet current demand, and also at helping attract the skills and specialities needed to meet future demand. Any negotiated settlement will be referred to STAC to endorse and recommend to the cabinet secretary for health and sport.

For further information please contact:

Matt McLaughlin, head of health – 07904 341979

Tom Waterson, chair of UNISON NHS Scotland – 07753 627575