#OneTeam2K: NHS pay rise campaign

Monday 15th February 2021

UNISON is calling on the government to give all NHS workers a pay rise of at least £2,000: #OneTeam2K

The Scottish government needs to invest in pay to help turn the disillusionment of staff around. An immediate pay rise would reassure undervalued staff to stay in the NHS.

Health workers across the UK are nearing the end of a three-year pay deal. They are due a pay rise in April, but UNISON and other health unions want this brought forward to show appreciation for NHS employees.

The Scottish government has publicly committed to a speedy settlement of the 2021/22 pay deal but we need more than promises. Please see our UK campaign page here.

Tam Waterson, chair of UNISON Scotland’s health committee, said: “We welcomed the Scottish government’s £500 bonus payment for NHS workers, UNISON was the only trade union campaigning for this money and it shows the power of being in a union and what can be achieved as the result of a strong and powerful campaign.

UNISON has now moved its campaigning for a decent pay rise for all NHS staff who have gone above and beyond to look after us during this crisis. NHS staff deserve a pay settlement that recognises the sacrifice so many have made over the pandemic and starts to restore some of the reals terms pay cuts of the past decade and show how much the government values the role they play in Scotland.

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Scottish Government public sector pay policy

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes gave a statement on public sector pay to Parliament on 28 January 2021.

Kate Forbes said: “We will continue to adopt the real Living Wage, applying the increased rate of £9.50 per hour, guarantee a minimum 3% increase for those on salaries up to £25,000 via a £750 cash underpin, with those on higher salaries receiving a 1% rise capped at £800 above £80,000.

Negotiations are under way in our NHS on the future of Agenda for Change and I will work with the Cabinet Secretary for Health to deliver for our NHS workforce.”

UNISON welcomes the recognition for the lowest paid but this falls short of a decent pay rise for public sector workers. We need a pay settlement that recognises the sacrifice so many have made over the pandemic, restores some of the reals terms pay cuts of the past decade and shows the government values the role public sector workers play in Scotland. UNISON full response is here

Table of % increase and NHS Pay Bands:

Bottom of bands 1-6 1% 3% monthly 1% monthly 3%
£18,600.00 £186.00 £558.00 £15.50 £46.50
£20,700.00 £207.00 £621.00 £17.25 £51.75
£22,700.00 £227.00 £681.00 £18.92 £56.75
£25,100.00 £251.00 £753.00 £20.92 £62.75
£31,800.00 £318.00 £954.00 £26.50 £79.50
Band 9 bottom     £0.00 £0.00
£102,558.00 £1,025.58 £3,076.74 £85.47 £256.40

NHS staff survey

More than 1,200 health service staff from across Scotland took part in UNISON research, which has also been submitted to the NHS pay review body.

A huge majority of NHS staff say the Scottish government doesn’t value their extraordinary efforts during the pandemic. Health workers feel deeply dissatisfied with their treatment. Seven out of ten (70%) say they are angry about how the Scottish government has treated NHS staff.

Almost half (45%) say they are considering leaving the NHS; three in ten (29%) are seriously considering leaving and five per cent say they are leaving whatever happens. Just under half (45%) say they want to bring forward their retirement plans.

Just under a third of health workers (31%) said they have had to borrow money from family; four per cent have taken out a payday loan and six per cent have had to make a new benefits claim.

Many staff are at breaking point, often working long back-to-back shifts to deal with worsening staff shortages and packed hospitals as infections soar.

As health workers come under increasing strain because of the rise in infections and hospital admissions, many say they are considering their future in the NHS, the survey finds.

A pay rise would provide reassurance and comfort to staff and help them feel more valued, the survey shows. Almost two thirds (61%) say NHS pay is an important issue in their workplace.

According to the survey, a pay rise awarded now would reassure many that their efforts are being recognised. Almost nine in ten (88%) say it would boost their morale.