Finance Secretary Derek Mackay MSP outlined a proposed 3% increase in pay for public sector workers earning £30,000 or less, with a limit of 2% on pay increases for those earning above £30,000. A cash cap of £1,600 will be applied to those earning £80,000 or more.
The Finance Secretary thanked nursing staff and said 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 in Scotland.
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."
She also sounded a note of caution, saying “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."
RCN Chief Executive Janet Davies added: “The announcement today increases the pressure on the Westminster Government to close the pay gap for nursing staff in England in next year’s pay award.
“The Chancellor has said that salary increases above the 1% cap for nursing staff in England will be dependent on ‘improved productivity’.
The RCN will shortly submit evidence to the pay review body, using the findings of its employment survey of members, looking at issues of pay, recruitment, retention and morale and their impact on patient care.