Health secretary in new talks over NHS pay offer amid strike threat

Humza Yousaf is expected to meet with union bosses on Tuesday after UNISON rejected a recent pay offer.

Health secretary Humza Yousaf in new talks to avoid strike action by NHS healthcare workers in Scotland iStock

Talks are to be held over an improved offer for healthcare workers in Scotland in a bid to avoid strike action.

It comes after a pay increase of £2,205 was rejected by members of the country’s largest health union, UNISON.

Humza Yousaf previously warned that there is no more money for a higher offer to be made.

However, the health secretary is expected to meet with union bosses on Tuesday in an effort to resolve the dispute.

Deputy first minister John Swinney also claimed that the Scottish Government had gone “as far as it can go” in making a new offer to NHS staff.

He told MSPs that the UK Government’s financial plans had meant “extremely difficult choices” had to be made, with cuts to funding elsewhere.

The Government has already committed to bankrolling a £600m pay deal for council workers across Scotland, as well as a 5% pay increase for Police Scotland staff.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon stated after the pay deal was reached with council workers that there is “no bottomless pit of money”, as she explained that spending on other priorities would need to be taken in order to fund the deal.

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