Unison members in Scotland vote ‘overwhelmingly’ to accept 9% pay deal

The deal would see the basic pay of a newly qualified staff nurse rise by £2058 to £24459.

Ian Snug
17 August 2018

Unison members in Scotland have voted ‘overwhelmingly’ to accept the 9% pay deal offered by the devolved Scottish Government.

Following a strong endorsement by their union, 94% of Unison members in Scotland have voted to accept the proposed pay deal.


The proposed deal would see a 9% rise over three years for around 147,000 staff NHS staff who earn under £80,000 a year. Those staff earning above £80,000 will be given a flat-rate increase of £1,600 a year.

The deal would see the basic pay of a newly qualified staff nurse rise by £2058 to £24459.

A similar pay deal in England has been hit with controversy after accusations the Royal College of Nursing “misrepresented” the deal to its members.

The deal exceeds that in England.

Speaking previously about the deal, Health Secretary Shona Robison, said: “Our NHS is built on the dedication and hard work of healthcare staff up and down the country.


“They are our health service’s beating heart, and I’m proud to be offering them this significant pay rise in recognition for the work they do caring for the people of Scotland.

“We were the first government in the UK to lift the pay cap, and today I can confirm we intend to deliver a pay rise of at least 9 percent to our hardworking NHS ‘Agenda for Change’ staff over the next three years.

“We’re doing all we can to recruit new talent and retain existing staff, ensuring NHS Scotland has the right skills and experience to meet future demand and rising expectations. Today’s announcement will help make our NHS an attractive employment option for many.

“In this 70th anniversary year I am delighted that we have been able to offer NHS Scotland staff a pay settlement which not only matches NHS England deal – but exceeds it.”


The deal will see real increased in pay packets.

Unison is now calling for the issue of NHS pay to be fully devolved and call for future negotiations to be direct with the Scottish Government rather than the Independent NHS Pay Review Body.

Thomas Waterson, chair of the UNISON Health Committee said: “Today I am pleased to announce that 94% of UNISON members have voted to accept a pay deal which will put an additional £400m into NHS workers pay packets in Scotland. This deal delivers real increases of between 3 and 27% for NHS workers in Scotland. The strong endorsement by UNISON members makes it clear that we do not need to wait cap in hand for the Pay Review Body. This institution as it stands is dead in the water.

Eighteen months ago some people said that we couldn’t negotiate a separate pay deal for NHS workers in Scotland. Then they said that we couldn’t negotiate a better deal for Scotland. The Scottish Government should commit now to develop negotiating structures in Scotland and allow us to self determine on pay.”

Matt McLaughlin, UNISON Scotland Head of Health said: “This is a good result for UNISON members and I am happy that across Scotland we reached out to and engaged with the vast majority of our members. Their decision is a ringing endorsement of the offer.”


UNISON was the only major union in NHS Scotland to recommend the deal to members and has engaged in a month-long consultation process across Scotland.

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