Getting NHS pay consultation with members in Scotland right is crucial

 Theresa Fyffe 15 Apr 2018

Theresa Fyffe gives an update on the latest position on consulting RCN members about an NHS pay deal in Scotland.

In a recent blog post RCN Scotland Board Chair Stewart Donnelly said we are at the ‘most significant juncture in the fight for fair pay for many a long year’. He wasn’t wrong.

That’s why we’re currently in discussion with RCN Scottish Board members about the best way to consult you on a pay deal for NHS staff in Scotland.

As the RCN and other health trade unions enter negotiations with the Scottish Government, we need to make sure we get how we consult with you, our members, absolutely right.

We’ve been asking you to look at the terms of the deal for NHS staff in England and use the pay calculator to get an idea of how a similar deal would affect your pay. We’ve also said we would ask you whether or not you would endorse such an approach in Scotland. This was to give us leverage to make sure the Scottish Government didn’t leave any staff in Scotland worse off than their counterparts in other parts of the UK.

The Scottish Government announced its willingness to negotiate a deal that is ‘at least as good’ as that for NHS England. So we’re starting from a firm footing - it’s no longer as crucial to have that leverage. 

Don’t misunderstand – we will be negotiating hard to make the best deal we can agree for consultation with our members. But we have been assured by the Scottish Government that every penny of the money it gets if the pay deal in England is accepted – a result of the Barnett formula, a financial mechanism used by the Treasury in the United Kingdom to automatically adjust the amounts of public expenditure allocated to Scotland – will be spent on a new NHS pay deal.

Under these circumstances, and given the tight timescales, it is important to consider all our options to give members in Scotland affected by the deal the best opportunity to make an informed decision about their future pay. And that should be based on the full details of a Scotland-specific deal, when they are known. We are considering how best to achieve this and will confirm this to members following a meeting of RCN Scotland Board. We will update members on Friday after the meeting.

So check our dedicated NHS pay webpage for updates and look out for an email in your inbox.

Remember to login on the RCN website now and update your details to make sure you don’t miss out on these important updates.

Theresa Fyffe

Theresa Fyffe

RCN Scotland Director


Theresa Fyffe has been RCN Scotland Director since 2007 and is a former Deputy Chief Nurse for Scotland, experienced clinician and nurse manager.

Page last updated - 05/09/2018