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Scottish Government fails to address nurse staffing crisis with latest pay offer

21 Oct 2022

The Scottish government’s latest pay offer remains a real terms pay cut for the majority of nursing staff. The offer comes after discussions with the health trade unions, Cabinet Secretary, Deputy First Minister, Scottish government officials and employers ran late into last night (20 October).

Scottish government failed to take the opportunity to recognise the clinical skill, expertise and leadership of registered nurses.

When compared to the previous offer from May 2022, this offer sees a lower percentage increase for those higher up the Agenda for Change bandings. The RCN has called for an across the board pay increase that is 5% above inflation.

Julie Lamberth said: “Nurse staffing levels are dangerously low. We need fair pay to attract more people into nursing and to keep the skilled nurses we already have. 

“We want to be able to provide the best possible care for our patients but too often, the lack of staff and demand on services is standing in our way. Too many of us are making the decision to walk away from the profession. The Scottish Government has the power to stop this. The people of Scotland deserve better, so do we. Please post you ballot back today.”

RCN Scotland Director Colin Poolman said: “Yet again the Scottish Government has failed to listen to our members concerns for the safety of their patients. They have failed to recognise the safety critical role of nursing staff and their essential contribution to our NHS and our nation’s health.

“Under this proposal, registered nurses continue to face a significant real terms pay cut. This is even more stark with the news that inflation reached a 40 year high. Many are making difficult decisions about how to heat their homes, feed their families and travel to work while carrying the burden of being unable to do the best for their patients due to severe staff shortages.

“Our ballot for strike action continues. Today’s offer will make our members more determined to have their voice heard. I would urge members to vote in favour of strike and to post back their ballot papers now.”

The RCN strike ballot continues while elected members consider the Scottish Government’s latest offer and the next steps. It is more important than ever that, whatever your view about taking strike action, you complete your ballot paper and return it in the post as soon as possible. To ensure your ballot is received before the deadline it should be posted by Saturday 29 October.

Page last updated - 24/03/2023