25 March 2021

How does 4% pay offer for NHS staff in Scotland differ from England?

25 March 2021

NHS staff in Scotland are to be offered a pay rise of at least 4%, the Scottish Government has announced, well above the 1% being recommended by the Westminster Government.

– Why are the two figures so wildly different?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said 1% is as much as the Government could afford during the “tough times” of the pandemic, but the SNP-controlled administration in Edinburgh said it wants to recognise the service and dedication of staff during the past year.

– How much is the award worth for NHS staff in Scotland?

The average pay of a frontline NHS nurse is set to rise by more than £1,200 a year.

– How much would a 1% pay rise be worth in England?

The Royal College of Nursing estimates nurses’ pay would increase by £3.50 a week.

– What has been the reaction to the Scottish Government’s decision?

Unison said the Westminster Government should be “shamed” into following the lead of Scotland.

– When will a decision be made on NHS pay outside Scotland?

The NHS Pay Review Body will consider submissions from the Government and unions and is expected to make a recommendation in May.

– When is the pay rise due?

On April 1, but in Scotland it will be backdated to December in recognition of an “exceptional year of significant pressure”.

– Have any one-off payments been considered for NHS staff given their outstanding work during the pandemic?

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced a £500 thank you payment for all health and social care workers, but UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said this was not being considered by the Westminster Government.

Nicola Sturgeon (PA Wire)

– Was there anything significant in the timing of the announcement in Scotland?

Details of the offer were released hours before the start of the Holyrood election campaign, during which governments are obliged to avoid making big spending announcements.

– Will NHS pay feature in the coming weeks of campaigning ahead of elections in May?

Definitely. Opposition politicians will put pressure on Conservative candidates over why the Government is suggesting a 1% pay rise.

– What is the next move by trade unions?

The Royal College of Nursing and Unite are threatening industrial action, while Unison is planning to highlight how workers will not be receiving their pay rise on April 1.

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