Nursing unions tell Scottish NHS staff to reject 4% pay offer

Members will be balloted on the deal in the coming weeks.

Matt Bodell
1 April 2021
RCN Voice of Nursing

Healthcare unions have been calling for a restorative rise of between 12.5% and 15%.

Unions have told NHS workers in Scotland to reject a recent 4% pay proposal from the Scottish Government.


Last month NHS workers in Scotland were offered a pay rise of “at least” 4% backdated to December 2020 on top of an already agreed £500 COVID bonus.

Healthcare unions have been calling for a restorative rise of between 12.5% and 15% since July following a decade of real-terms pay cuts.

Unions will ballot members in the coming weeks on the deal but are recommending their members reject it.

Julie Lamberth, Chair of the Royal College of Nursing’s Scotland Board said: “Our members are exhausted. This past year has exacerbated long standing issues and taken its toll; we know many are thinking of leaving the profession. Government’s across the UK need to demonstrate that nursing staff are valued. That’s why we are campaigning for 12.5%.


“It is important that all members working in the NHS have their say on this offer. We believe the nursing profession deserves fair pay that recognises our contribution, supports retention and recruitment to ensure patient safety and compensates for the failure of salaries to keep up with the cost of living over the last 10 years.”

Before adding; “We are recommending our members reject this offer.”

GMB has echoed the call from the RCN, Scotland organiser Karen Leonard insisted: “The offer doesn’t value our members properly, it doesn’t restore the pay they’ve lost after a decade of cuts, and it doesn’t secure their future.

“That’s why we are recommending its rejection.”


She continued: “We see this pay offer for what it is – a pre-election punt by an outgoing health secretary that looks better than it really is when put up against the insulting 1% increase for our NHS colleagues in England.”
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