Scots NHS get 1% pay rise but freezes in England

NHS STAFF in Scotland will get a one per cent pay rise this year, despite a decision in England to limit increases for some workers.
Scottish NHS staff will receive a one per cent pay rise on top of any incremental rises. Picture: TSPLScottish NHS staff will receive a one per cent pay rise on top of any incremental rises. Picture: TSPL
Scottish NHS staff will receive a one per cent pay rise on top of any incremental rises. Picture: TSPL

The Scottish Government said staff would receive the rise from 1 April, with those earning under £21,000 also receiving an additional sum to increase their pay by £300 in total.

The changes come after Scottish ministers accepted recommendations from the NHS Pay Review Body and Doctors’ and Dentists’ Pay Review Body (DDRB).

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In England, only staff not already due a rise in their pay this year because of progression through their pay band will get the 1 per cent increase, sparking anger from unions and threats of strike action.

In Scotland, unions welcomed the increase for all staff but said below-inflation pay increases were still hitting workers.

Health secretary Alex Neil said: “I was clear when [Westminster health secretary] Jeremy Hunt first suggested reneging on the 1 per cent pay offer for NHS staff in England that we would block that move here and that we would fully implement the modest increase in Scotland.

“I can confirm we’ll deliver on that approach in Scotland’s NHS, ensuring our hardworking and dedicated staff rightly receive the wage increases they were promised.

“This means that all NHS staff groups in Scotland covered by the remits of these bodies will receive a one per cent pay increase, and we will supplement the pay of those currently earning under £21,000 to ensure they receive a total increase of £300.”

Theresa Fyffe, director of the Royal College of Nursing Scotland, said the increase did not compensate for a “real-terms” cut to pay over the past three years as a result of a pay freeze. She said: “However, we are committed to the independent NHS pay review body and as such we are pleased it has judged 1 per cent is affordable and its recommendation is being honoured by the Scottish Government.”

Dr Brian Keighley, chairman of the British Medical Association in Scotland, also welcomed Scottish ministers taking a different approach to the Westminster government.

But he added: “This uplift, which the cabinet secretary himself describes as ‘modest’, is yet another year of below-inflation pay awards for doctors and other NHS staff.”

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Tom Waterson, chairman of Unison’s Scottish health committee, said: “We are delighted the Scottish Government has decided to implement the recommendations of the pay review body in full.

“We would urge the UK government to also commit to paying health service staff the recommendations in full.

“We went into these negotiations in good faith and we expect the clear recommendations of the pay review body to be delivered. It is good news for NHS staff that the Scottish Government have committed to doing that.”