Medics have hit out at a “hugely disappointing” below inflation pay increase offer tabled by the Scottish Government as they warned further action could be taken.
NHS medical and dental staff were offered a 4.5% wage uplift in what health secretary Humza Yousaf described as a “demonstration of the value of workers and the important contribution they make.”
However, the chairman of BMA Scotland, criticised the deal and said it did “nothing to undo years of real-term pay erosion for doctors”.
Dr Lewis Morrison said members would be consulted on “next steps” and called for the government to do more to boost the pay packets of medics emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said: “In the face of spiralling inflation this is still a large real-terms pay cut, which will be hugely damaging to the morale of an already exhausted and depleted workforce, after two-and-a-half-years leading our country’s response to the pandemic and the years of vacancies and escalating demand that preceded that.
“The Scottish Government has to reflect on how it really values and treats our medical workforce, if it genuinely wants to ensure NHS recovery and a future of healthcare in Scotland that will meet the needs of its people.
“In response to this hugely disappointing award we will be urgently consulting our members to gauge their views, and what steps we may take as a result.”
The offer came after the recommendations by the Doctors and Dentists Pay Review Body (DDRB) suggested
NHS medical and dental staff should get the 4.5% rise, which is separate from the government.
The Scottish Government said the increase built on the 3% rise applied in 2021, and meant that staff had seen their pay go up by 7.5% over the last two years.
However, that remains over 3% below the predicted rate of inflation later in the year and comes just a day after study found over half of trainer medics were at “high or moderate” risk of burnout.
The Scottish Government has, as part of another pay deal, offered a 5% rise to nurses, paramedics, allied health professionals and healthcare support staff.
Yousaf said: “The continued hard work and dedication of staff ensures that the people of Scotland continue to receive world class healthcare as we remobilise NHS services and tackle waiting times.
“This uplift demonstrates that we value all our medical and dental staff and the important contribution they make.
“It’s crucial that we continue to not only recruit and build our future NHS workforce, but also retain expertise within NHS Scotland.”