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Scottish government set to remove pay cap on public sector workers

Healthcare unions have welcomed the news that the Scottish government will work to lift the pay cap currently imposed on public sector workers in Scotland.

The Scottish government has promised it will take immediate steps towards removing the cap on public sector pay in the face of real threats by nurses to go on strike.

The Royal College of Nursing released the results of a poll of its membership showing 9 in 10 would support industrial action.

Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister for Scotland, has been under intense pressure to lift the cap from Labour, the Scottish Green party and multiple healthcare union leaders – it was a key point her in pre-election manifesto.

Derek Mackay, the Scottish finance secretary, told MSPs; “The first minister has already indicated that the existing pay cap is becoming increasingly unsustainable, and we will be looking to take a different approach in the 2018-19 public sector pay policy”.

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This news comes only days after a vote to abolish the UK-wide public sector pay cap was defeated in the House of Commons by just 14 votes.

Last week the RCN alongside 14 other healthcare unions wrote to Theresa May and called upon the Government to commit to the removal of the pay cap and address the real-terms loss of earnings. They warned that failing to do so could lead to industrial action across the board.

Meanwhile Vaughan Gething, the Welsh Health Secretary, has written to Jeremy Hunt asking for funds to be made available to the Welsh government in order to ensure a pay rise for NHS staff.