Industrial action across the NHS Scotland by Unite members is now off 

Unite the union can confirm today (12 December) that an increased pay offer has now been accepted by its NHS Scotland membership. 

Unite’s health membership voted yes by 64% in the thousands to accept the improved offer which was tabled two weeks ago following extensive talks involving the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, the Health Secretary, Humza Yousaf, NHS Scotland and the trade unions. 

Industrial action by Unite which was initially set to hit the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) and the wider NHS Scotland is now off. 

The improved offer represents on average a 7.5 per cent increase across NHS Scotland with up to 11.24 per cent for the bottom pay bands. It means salary bands 1-4 will receive a flat rate payment of £2,205, and salary bands 5 to 7 receiving increases ranging from £2,280 to £2,660.

The offer also includes a commitment to reduce the working week from 37.5 hours to 36 hours with no loss of pay.

Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, said: “The improved offer for NHS Scotland workers which is worth over 11 per cent for the lowest pay bands is a testament to the resolve of our members. They were prepared to take the difficult step in taking industrial action but only because they had no other option left. Unite makes no apologies for fighting for better jobs, pay and conditions in the health service because NHS Scotland workers should be fairly rewarded for the outstanding work that they do day in and day out.”

The trade unions estimate that through negotiations they have been able to secure around an extra £515m for NHS workers since the first offer was received in the summer.

JAmes O’Connell, Unite’s lead negotiator for NHS Scotland, has welcomed acceptance of the improved offer, he added: We believe that the improved offer was the best that could be negotiated under the present circumstances. It was ultimately up to our NHS membership to consider whether the offer was acceptable which they have now judged it be by 64 per cent.” 

“However, these protracted negotiations should be a warning to the Scottish Government. No longer can they take NHS workers for granted and platitudes are not sufficient. Words need to be backed up by action and the threat of industrial action didn’t need to be on the cards if the workers were made a fair offer in the summer. We will be holding the Scottish Government accountable for the commitments they have made and we urge them to start negotiations in the next couple of months to address the ongoing concerns within NHS Scotland.”


Notes to Editor

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Unite Scotland is the country’s biggest and most diverse trade union with around 150,000 members. The union is led in Scotland by Pat Rafferty.