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NHS pay rise described as ‘disappointing’

NHS staff unions say they are ‘disappointed’ and 'angry' the Scottish government is pressing on with a pay rise for staff that was previously rejected.

Around 154,000 NHS staff are to receive an interim pay increase next month, backdated to the 1st December, “in recognition of an exceptional year of significant pressure,” the Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said earlier today.

UNISON had been calling for a £2,000 pay increase for staff amid delays to pay negotiations that will now not conclude until summer at the earliest.

The Royal College of Nursing has been campaigning for a 12.5% pay rise for NHS nurses across the UK.

Willie Duffy, UNISON Scotland head of health said: “We are disappointed that the Scottish Health Secretary has made this announcement, when UNISON had previously written to her rejecting this offer.

“UNISON is concerned how this imposition may impact on any future pay negotiations with the Scottish government in 2021. 

“We do not agree that NHS pay cannot be resolved until the summer of 2021. We are calling for pay negotiations to commence immediately.” 

Mr Duffy added: “NHS staff need a pay settlement that recognises the sacrifice so many have made over the pandemic and starts to restore some of the real terms pay cuts of the past decade and show how much the government values the role they play in Scotland."