Government offers NHS staff in Scotland 4% pay rise

Health secretary says the pay rises will benefit 154,000 NHS Agenda for Change employees.

Government offers NHS staff in Scotland 4% pay rise Getty Images
NHS staff have been offered a pay rise of at least 4%.

NHS staff in Scotland have been offered a pay rise of at least 4%, the Scottish Government said on Wednesday.

The announcement comes following discussions between the government, trade unions and NHS employers over a pay rise for NHS Scotland Agenda for Change staff. 

Staff on pay bands one to seven would receive at least a 4% pay rise compared with 2020/21, with workers earning less than £25,000 in 2020/21 guaranteed a minimum increase of more than £1000 in 2021/22.

If accepted by staff, the government says the pay rises will benefit 154,000 NHS Agenda for Change employees – including nurses, paramedics, allied health professionals, as well as domestic, healthcare support staff, porters and other front line health workers.

It comes after NHS workers in Scotland also received a one-off £500 payment from the Scottish Government as a thank you for their work during the coronavirus pandemic.

Health secretary Jeane Freeman said: “Following positive discussions with NHS unions and employees the Scottish Government has put forward an offer of the biggest single pay uplift since devolution for NHS Agenda for Change staff. 

“Over 154,000 staff would benefit from this rise, which would see the average pay of a front line NHS Nurse rise by over £1200 a year. 

“This deal also includes support staff such as domestic staff, porters and health care support workers, the backbone of our services, who would see pay rises of over £1000 – uplifts of between 4% – 5.4%. The uplift will be backdated from 1 December 2020, rather than the usual 1 April 2021, meaning all those covered by the deal will receive an extra benefit.

“This has been an exceptionally challenging year for our health service and I am pleased that the Scottish Government is able to recognise the service and dedication of our healthcare staff.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Scotland’s NHS staff “deserve more than applause and 1% is not enough” – a reference to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the UK Government’s recommendation to give NHS workers in England a 1% pay rise.

She tweeted: “@scotgov is offering a 4% pay rise, which would deliver guaranteed minimum increase of £1000 for those earning less than £25,000 & 5.4% increase for staff on lowest pay band…and all backdated to December 2020.”

Each trade union will now agree their process for presenting this offer to members.

Colin Poolman, chair of the Scottish Terms and Conditions Committee (STAC) and Royal College of Nursing Scotland senior officer said: “The timescale for negotiations was tight as a result of the forthcoming election but we have now received an offer for a one-year pay deal.”

Willie Duffy, staffside secretary of STAC and Unison regional organiser added: “Each of the individual trade unions will now enter into discussions with their members on the offer.”