UNISON welcomes credible NHS pay offer for next year from Scottish government

The Scottish government’s pay offer to NHS workers for the financial year starting in April has been welcomed by UNISON today (Thursday/Friday) as both credible and serious.

If accepted by UNISON members, it will see most NHS workers in Scotland receive pay increases of more than 8% in 2023/24.

If that happens, it would mean that over two years UNISON will have secured a pay rise of over 14% for largest majority of registered nurses, and almost 20% for the lowest paid workers in the NHS.

UNISON Scotland’s health committee is due to meet on Monday (20 February) to discuss the offer and plans to open a digital consultative ballot on Wednesday (22 February).

Last November, UNISON members voted to accept the Scottish government’s deal on NHS wages for the current pay year ending in March. That included a commitment to get the next set of pay negotiations going early so that health workers could receive the wage rise due in April on time. UNISON is pleased that the Scottish government has kept to this timetable.

Chair of UNISON Scotland health committee Wilma Brown said: “NHS workers were rightly angry that it took government so long to settle last year’s pay claim. That’s why securing the commitment not to delay talks for the coming pay year was so important.

“It’s good to see that the government has listened and come forward with an offer for next year, a good few weeks ahead of 1 April. The union will begin its consultation with NHS members as soon as possible.”

UNISON Scotland head of health Matt McLaughlin said: “This is a credible pay offer for NHS workers, and needs serious consideration. As always it’s down to UNISON’s health members to decide whether to accept.

“NHS staff in Scotland are already the best paid in the UK. If the offer is accepted, it’ll provide a one-off payment of £387 plus at least 6.5% built into the pay scales for the majority of staff.

“This means that over two years UNISON will have secured a pay rise of over 14% for most registered nurses and almost 20% for the lowest paid in the NHS.”

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 admin workers. The union has membership in every health board in Scotland. Agenda for Change (NHS terms and conditions) cover most health workers in the NHS apart from doctors and dentists.

Read pay offer here: https://unison-scotland.org/wp-content/uploads/Final-AFC-1-year-pay-deal-202324-16-February-2023.pdf

NHS pay updates webpage (live from 17/2/23) : https://unison-scotland.org/nhs-pay-talks-2023-24/