The Finance Secretary expressed his thanks to nursing staff and outlined that the Scottish Government would be “mindful of developments of NHS staff elsewhere in the UK” to make sure Scottish health service staff are "treated at least as fairly" as those elsewhere, retaining "flexibility to address any particular recruitment challenges". He committed to respecting the Pay Review Body process in setting the final pay settlements for NHS staff.
Additional funding of £400m was announced for health services across Scotland.
The Scottish Government has also announced a series of income tax changes.
Responding to the announcement, RCN Scotland Director Theresa Fyffe said: “The Scottish Government has clearly listened to nursing staff who’ve been campaigning for fair pay. Today’s announcement will go some way to addressing the years of pay restraint, however, we have yet to see the detail on how this pay award will be funded. We have been clear that the NHS cannot be expected to fund this from existing budgets.
“We also have to understand the implications of changes to income tax on members to be clear on the real benefit of the proposed increase.
“The Finance Secretary committed to respecting the NHS Pay Review Body Process and we will continue to campaign to close the gap while we await the outcome of that process.”
The RCN will shortly submit evidence to the pay review body, drawing on the findings of its biennial employment survey of members, exploring how issues of pay, recruitment, retention and morale are linked and have an impact on patient care.