Nursing staff across Scotland are set to learn whether one of the country’s largest health trade unions is to support a government pay deal.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said the latest offer of an 11% uplift for some of the lowest-paid staff still “fell short” of expectations, but admitted it was “credible” compared to previous terms.
NHS workers represented by the GMB, Unite and Unison organisations are currently involved in ballots on whether to back the rise – which works out as an average of 7.5% across the board.
Unison has recommended supporting the offer, which was tabled last week, but those in the RCN are yet to discover whether it will follow suit. GMB and Unite have not made a recommendation on how to vote.
The Scottish Government said the offer was a “record high” for frontline employees, which include nurses along with paramedics and healthcare support staff.
Health secretary Humza Yousaf previously said there was “nothing left in the coffers” once this deal was voted on.
The union’s colleagues in England, Northern Ireland and Wales are to strike on December 15 and 20 in the largest industrial action in its history.
Unite suspended work-to-rule action involving ambulance drivers scheduled for last Friday, while the GMB postponed similar action due to take place this week.
Unison launched a ballot on the offer for workers on Monday that is due to run until December 12.
An RCN spokesperson said they were “anticipating” a decision from bosses on the offer on Tuesday, but warned that was not guaranteed.
Under the Scottish Government’s pay bands, those in the lowest ranks, one to four, would receive a flat rate £2,205 while those in numbers five to seven would receive up to £2,660.
Both payments would be backdated to April, the Scottish Government said.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon joined the talks with Yousaf last week. The health secretary said: “This best and final pay offer of over half a billion pounds underlines our commitment to supporting our fantastic NHS staff.
“A newly qualified nurse would see a pay rise of 8.7%, and experienced nurses would get uplifts of between £2,450 and £2,751.”