SoR reps "angry and frustrated" at latest Scottish pay offer

Headline 'average rate' is bought at the expense of those at the top of Band 7 and above

Published: 24 October 2022 Trade Union & IR

Following a short period of intense negotiation, the Scottish government made its new flat rate offer of £2,205 for all Agenda for Change staff, on Friday 21st October.

Promoted by the government as offering an average 7% pay rise, in reality, this headline 'average rate' is bought at the expense of those at the top of Band 7 and above, who would receive 4.6% and less – for comparison, this is less than under the last rejected offer.

SoR representatives reacted to this new offer with disappointment, frustration and anger that the government apparently so undervalues NHS workers that it feels it can offer some Bands even less than in the initial deal.

In a statement, the Society said the pay ballot remains open and is urging members to vote yes to strike action.

"However, we also need to talk about the new offer. Both your Scottish Representatives Forum and Scottish Council will meet shortly to consider the offer and any potential next steps - which may include decisions to put the offer to you, with or without recommendations to reject or accept," said the SoR.

"Your voice has never been more critical. It is your voice that will drive the decisions that need to be made regarding this offer - and beyond. Please continue to let us know how you feel about this new offer. Speak to your local Rep; email your National Officer - tell them what you believe should happen next. We believe that you deserve better than this."

Full text of Scottish government pay offer:

Single Year Pay Offer 2022/23 for NHS Agenda for Change Staff 

1. The Scottish Government's aim is to deliver an agreed single year pay deal 
for NHS Scotland Agenda for Change staff for the financial year 1 April 2022 - 31 March 2023. 

2. In order to achieve this, the Scottish Government has committed an overall 
financial envelope of £480m to uplift Agenda for Change pay rates. 

3. Our aim is to ensure that we retain suitably experienced staff, and attract staff 
with the skills and experience needed to ensure NHS Scotland meets future demands and expectations. The offer is detailed below. 

4. The available funding would enable a pay rise of 7% for NHS staff. This will 
be applied as a flat pay raise of £2205 for all AfC staff, which will result in pay raises of between 5.41 and 11.32% for the majority of AfC staff. 

5. These uplifts would translate into the following 2022-23 pay points. 

Pay bands

6. Allowances and RRP's which increase in line with pay uplifts will be uprated 
as appropriate. 

7. The pay uplift will also apply to the Two Tier Agreement. 

8. In addition to the pay uplift, all parties have agreed: 

  • A firm commitment to discuss and develop a Scotland wide process which achieves without prejudice, a review of the application of job profiles in clinical roles in Agenda for Change. 
  • That the current temporary enhanced mileage in NHS Scotland will be maintained until the UK Staff Council review is concluded. 
  • We will retain, on a permanent basis, the ability for AfC Band 8's and 9 to be paid overtime in line with local Board arrangements. 

Non-Pay Matters 

9. Staff Side also advised of a number of other non-pay matters they wish to see progressed. The Scottish Government remains committed to ensuring that existing terms and conditions are applied properly and consistently, and all parties have agreed that these will be discussed through STAC to ensure that terms and conditions are giving proper effect. The issues raised by staff side 

  • Ensure banding outcomes reflect job content. 
  • Reward additional hours fairly. 
  • Prevent burnout by limiting excess hours. 
  • Support progression and career development. 
  • Encourage NHS Scotland employers to use recruitment & retention premia (RRP) to recruit and retain staff where shortages are a risk to staff wellbeing and quality of care. 

10. Any proposed changes to existing terms and conditions would be explored and discussed as part of any agreed future pay negotiating arrangements. 

11. The Scottish Government commits to discussions within STAC, which agree 
and present a series of appropriate options to Scottish Ministers for consideration, decision and implementation, on potential mechanisms to agree future NHS pay deals, and aim to commence 23/24 discussions shortly after the Scottish budget.