James O’Connell, Unite regional officer, said: “The years of restraint have had a significant impact on our members working in the NHS. We acknowledge the statement from the first minister and welcome the reference she makes to our hard working NHS staff and the requirement to receive an increase in wages immediately. Our focus however remains on concluding an agreement which provides members with certainty and stability over the next three years.
“It is disappointing that we were unable to take this offer to our members for consideration prior to the statement by the first minister. Unite believes agreement on pay should come from negotiations as part of the Partnership Agreement, which is being undermined, not a big reveal at the SNP’s annual conference.
“Once negotiations have been concluded, which we expect to be over the coming weeks, we will conduct a full consultation with our members on the final offer.”