Scottish health unions call for above inflation pay rise

“Our members are exhausted and demoralised."

Published: 11 March 2022 Trade Union & IR

Health unions In Scotland are demanding a “significant, above inflation” pay increase “that must reflect the skills and value of staff whilst it must also recognize and reward all staff across NHS Scotland”.

The Scottish Terms & Conditions Committee (STAC) staff side says it sees “mounting evidence of a healthcare workforce crisis which, without urgent intervention, will have a significant impact on NHS Scotland both in the short and long term”. 

Yvonne Stewart, the Society’s National Officer for Scotland, said members were under huge pressure and a significant pay award would be a vital part of raising moral and improving retention.

“Our members are exhausted and demoralised,” she said. “They are being crushed by intense workload pressures which are very clearly exacerbated by staff shortages and we need urgent action to tackle these shortages. Our members need - and deserve - an offer that comes with a significant, above inflation, pay rise at its heart.”

The Scottish Government have confirmed they are not participating in the Pay Review Process (PRB) for the 2022-2023 pay round for Agenda for Change staff employed within NHS Scotland and have chosen instead to initiate direct negotiations with the health trade unions through STAC. 

The staff side unions say this must not lead to the existing agreements under Agenda for Change be abandoned or not applied in full.

“In addition to a significant above inflation pay increase, the negotiations also require ensuring existing staff are properly rewarded by the full use of the Agenda for Change agreement’, said the unions.

The staff side negotiators have outlined the issues any pay agreement must address:

  • The rising cost of inflation on NHS Scotland Staff and ensure they can cope with rising and rapidly fluctuating costs which may change significantly over the pay year
  • Absorb the impact of increases to pension contributions and changes in taxation.
  • Benchmark the bottom of the structure against the Real Living Wage.
  • Be a significant down payment on the journey of pay restoration to recognise the years of below inflation pay increases experienced by NHS Scotland Staff.