HEALTH MATTERS: Scottish NHS staff 4% salary rise implemented at last

By Lucy Ashton
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is giving NHS workers a 4 per cent pay increase and a £500 ‘thank you payment’ for health and social workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

The pay rise is set to benefit around 154,000 employees covered by the ‘Agenda for Change’ NHS pay and grading system, according to the Scottish Government.

Among those included in Agenda for Change are nurses, paramedics and allied health professionals, as well as domestic, healthcare support staff, porters and other frontline health workers.

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Assuming the Department of Health in England maintains its current position of providing a £250 uplift for staff earning less than £24,000 and 1 per cent for all other NHS Agenda for Change staff, Scottish workers will be considerably better off in 2021-22.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, pictured right,   said: ‘I am delighted that unions representing a majority of NHS staff have voted to accept our offer of a pay rise of 4 per cent on average.

‘We all rely on the hard work and dedication of NHS Scotland, and never more so than during this pandemic. This pay rise, the biggest pay uplift for NHS staff since devolution recognises the unwavering commitment of NHS Scotland staff.

‘If the Department of Health sticks with the offer it has proposed, staff in Scotland will be considerably better off in 2021-22 than their counterparts in England.

‘This has been an exceptionally challenging year for our health service and I am delighted that the Scottish Government has been able to recognise the service and dedication of our healthcare staff. On behalf of us all, thank you for all you have done and for all you continue to do.’

The move means staff on the lowest pay point will get a 5.4 per cent increase.

Staff on pay bands 1 to 7 would receive at least a 4 per cent pay rise compared with 2020/21, with workers earning less than £25,000 in 2020/21 guaranteed a minimum increase of more than £1,000 in 2021/22.

The Scottish Government says the deal will be the ‘most generous National Health Service pay uplift anywhere in the UK’.

Former Health Secretary  Jeane Freeman tweeted that the move was ‘making the applause real’.

It comes after NHS workers in Scotland also received a one-off £500 payment from the Scottish Government as a thank you for their work during the coronavirus pandemic.

There are some sections of the workforce however who feel they deserve to have been included in these payments but have not received them.

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