All nursing staff working in NHS Scotland are to receive a 1% pay rise in 2015-16, the Scottish Government has announced.
The move, which comes into effect from 1 April, follows a recommendation from the independent NHS Pay Review Body.
It represents a repeat of the deal recommended for 2014-15, which Scottish ministers also accepted unlike their counterparts in other parts of the UK – leading to strike action and general bad feeling.
“Our commitment to this pay increase… for NHS workers underlines our commitment to frontline staff delivering services for the people of Scotland”
The Scottish Government stated that NHS staff will receive, for the second year in a row, 1% consolidated pay uplift – while staff earning under £21,000 will get an extra sum to increase their pay by at least £300.
Against the background of the national nursing shortage, ministers were quick to highlight the benefits of working as a nurse in Scotland.
The government statement said that from 1 April the starting salary for a Band 5 nurse in Scotland would be £21,818 – over £120 more than their English and Welsh counterparts. For a Band 5 at the top of their pay scale, their salary will be £28,462 – £282 more than in England or Wales.
Scottish health secretary Shona Robison said: “Today, I can confirm that our hardworking and dedicated NHS Scotland staff will rightly receive the wage increases they were promised.
“While the independently recommend uplift is modest, it comes against the background of substantial cuts in Scotland’s budget from Westminster, and will continue to give NHS staff in Scotland a better deal than their counterparts south of the border,” she said.
“Our commitment to this pay increase, and to the living wage, for NHS workers underlines our commitment to frontline staff delivering services for the people of Scotland,” she added.
“This modest pay rise comes at a time when staff are under unprecedented pressure”
Theresa Fyffe, director of the Royal College of Nursing in Scotland, noted that the government had accepted the rise recommended by pay review body.
“This modest pay rise, however, comes at a time when staff are under unprecedented pressure and working flat out to cope with the increasing demand on services in our hospitals and out in the community,” she said.
“With health boards desperately trying to meet targets and balance their books, the pressures on staff are only set to increase,” she added.
At a meeting on Monday, unions in England agreed to accept a revised deal put forward by the Westminster government, which will see the majority of nursing staff receive 1% – though more senior nurses will miss out.