Most NHS workers in Scotland will enjoy an average pay bump of 4% – “the most generous increase anywhere in the UK”.
It means health workers in Scotland, from porters to nurses and paramedics, will be roughly £1,500 to £2,900 better off than their English counterparts throughout 2021-22, said the Scottish Government.
Unions welcomed the salary boost, which will benefit around 154,000 healthcare staff and will retrospectively cover pay packets from December 2020 and run until March next year when another deal is expected to be negotiated.
The pay uplift comes on top of the £500 “thank you” payment for health staff announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon last November.
The offer was accepted by the majority of unions representing NHS workers and will benefit staff with contracts under the Agenda for Change system, with payments expected to kick in from this summer.
Ms Sturgeon said: “I am delighted that unions representing a majority of NHS staff have voted to accept our offer of a pay rise of 4% 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.”
Staff on pay bands one to seven – almost 95% of Agenda for Change staff – will get at least a 4% pay rise compared to 2020/21, said the Scottish Government.
It means those on the lowest pay point will get a 5.4% increase, and those on the highest pay points will receive boosts of £800.
The Scottish Government added that if the Department of Health in England maintains its current position, then staff will be roughly between £1,500 to £2,900 better off than their English counterparts.
The UK Government’s submission to the NHS Pay Review body provided for a £250 uplift for staff earning less than £24,000 and 1% for all other NHS Agenda for Change staff, it added.
One of the unions to reject the offer was the Royal College of Nursing in Scotland.
The chairwoman of the RCN’s Scotland board Julie Lamberth said: “We are disappointed that the Scottish Government has taken the decision to implement it without further discussion.
“The Scottish Government must do more to value nursing staff – the biggest part of the NHS workforce.
“We continue our call for the Scottish government to agree to further negotiations and to deliver fair pay for nursing.”