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NHS nursing staff in Scotland to get blanket 1% pay rise

Nurses and other NHS workers in Scotland will get the blanket 1% pay rise that was rejected by the government in England – though the situation remains unclear for staff in Wales and Northern Ireland.

From April this year NHS workers in Scotland will get the rise after the Scottish government accepted recommendations made by the NHS Pay Review Body.

The Scottish government has also agreed to supplement the pay of those earning less than £21,000 who will get an extra sum that will boost their wage by £300 in total.

Staff in England are furious after the pay review body’s recommendations were ignored in favour of a two-year deal that will see staff at the top of their pay bands receive the below inflation 1% pay rise in April but staff eligible for incremental pay rises get no cost of living increase.

Alex Neil

Alex Neil MSP

The different approaches mean a typical band 5 nurse in Scotland will soon be more than £200 better off than their English equivalent, according to the Scottish government, which has spotted an easy opportunity to score points with NHS staff ahead of the upcoming vote on independence.

In an example put together by Scottish officials, a band 5 nurse currently earning £22,903 would see that increase to £24,063 by March 2015, £238 more than the £23,825 the same nurse will get in England.

“I was clear when Jeremy Hunt first suggested reneging on the 1% pay offer for NHS staff in England that we would block that move”

Alex Neil

Scottish health secretary Alex Neil said: “I was clear when Jeremy Hunt first suggested reneging on the 1% pay offer for NHS staff in England that we would block that move here and that we would fully implement the modest increase in Scotland.”

The move, which has been welcomed by unions, will fuel speculation that nurses and other NHS staff in Scotland may benefit further if the nation votes to split from England.

“We are delighted the Scottish government has decided to implement the recommendations of the pay review body in full,” said Tom Waterson, chair of Unison’s Scottish health committee.

“We would urge the UK government to also commit to paying health service staff the recommendations in full,” he added.

“NHS Employers, trades unions and staff associations will be asked to undertake urgent discussions”

Mark Drakeford

Meanwhile, the Welsh government issued a holding statement indicating that it was yet to decide what staff would get in April, but warning that “financial pressures are still a significant issue”.

Health minister for Wales Mark Drakeford said: “We will make an award based on the same quantum as the Department of Health – equivalent to the cost of implementing the DH proposals in Wales. However, we may wish to distribute the award in a different way.

Mark Drakeford

Mark Drakeford

“NHS Employers, trades unions and staff associations will be asked to undertake urgent discussions and make recommendations about how this sum can be distributed to maximise our original commitments to maintain high standards of patient care in the Welsh NHS,” he said.

The Northern Ireland Executive has yet to make an announcement.

News Editor, Steve Ford, talks through how the NHS pay news unfolded



Readers' comments (10)

  • Time for unions to do the job....petitions in town centre, local and national marches, ballots for action, negotiations at every level for every employee to be paid for every minute, work to rule.... we need to toughen up and fight hard.

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  • tinkerbell

    Agree, if only though hey?

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  • now we can see why scotland would want independence

    oh to be free of these tory scumbags!!

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  • I agree with both comments. I think as nursing professionals we need to be tougher and pull together and begin local and national marches. We all work so hard and give 110 per cent to our patients because we care and want to give our patients the best quality of care. We work long hours with no breaks . Yet some of the top dogs are on ridiculous amounts of money and do nothing other than pulling us apart . I suggest the Tories come to our local hospitals and see what we do in a day. The tears we weep due to the lack of staff and support. The government do not know the half of it! I don't know how they sleep at night! Scotland stay independant . I am not proud to be part of Britain at this moment. It's like thatcher years all over again!

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  • This is a disgrace. As nurses, we work so hard but with so little income. 1% pay rise! Is this too much to ask for?
    My bags are packed. 6 colleagues and myself will move to Scotland if we dont get the pay rise. Any one joining us!!!

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  • Anonymous | 16-Mar-2014 1:07 pm

    will you find a job there?

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  • The blanket rise in Scotland is a change after we had our pay frozen a year longer than our English counter parts. I agree with the comments about ther government officials coming to work with us but I say do it in all feilds of nursing and over a week period to see how exhausted we all go home week in week out with all the cut backs

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  • I think the government have been very clever with this. The comment about incremental rises reads to your average man in the street as "well they already had a pay rise why should they have another?" They have played a blinder and put another nail in the coffin of the NHS. Privatisation moves ever nearer. One of the main questions the unions should be asking is, if the M P's cannot reject the independent pay review bodies recommendation for their 11% rise why can they reject ours?

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  • Depends on your skills, and level of expertise. Yes, we are hotcakes and there are jobs for us!

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    Sign the petition it's the best we can do at the moment!

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