A pay increase for NHS staff is to be “immediately implemented”, the Scottish Government has announced.
Following talks, a majority of NHS unions voted to accept a deal offering an average increase of 4%.
The uplift will be backdated to December 1, 2020, and will cover a period of 16 months.
It is in “recognition of an exceptional year of significant pressure for staff”, the Scottish Government said, and will be on top of the £500 thank-you payment for health and social care workers.
The increase is estimated to impact around around 154,000 employees who are covered by the ‘Agenda for Change’ NHS pay and grading system.
It includes nurses, paramedics and allied health professionals, as well as domestic staff, porters and healthcare support staff plus other front line health workers.
Staff are expected to receive the payments, including the backdated uplift, in the summer.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she is “delighted” the government is able to recognise the service and dedication of healthcare workers.
“I am delighted that unions representing a majority of NHS staff have voted to accept our offer of a pay rise of 4% on average,” said Sturgeon.
“We all rely on the hard work and dedication of NHS Scotland, and never more so than during this pandemic. This pay rise, the biggest pay uplift for NHS staff since devolution recognises the unwavering commitment of NHS Scotland staff.
“If the Department of Health sticks with the offer it has proposed, staff in Scotland will be considerably better off in 2021-22 than their counterparts in England.
“This has been an exceptionally challenging year for our health service and I am delighted that the Scottish Government has been able to recognise the service and dedication of our healthcare staff.
She added: “On behalf of us all, thank you for all you have done and for all you continue to do.”