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The Royal College of Nursing in Scotland is urging its members to reject the 4% pay offer placed on the table by the government.
The college instead believes a 12.5% increase is what is needed to show nurses their value and to address issues around recruitment and retention.
“Governments across the UK need to demonstrate that nursing staff are valued”
The RCN, along with the other unions representing NHS staff in Scotland, will consult members on the offer through ballots this month before feeding back to the Scottish Government.
Unite and the Royal College of Midwives will be putting the 4% proposal to their members to a vote without a recommendation to either reject or accept it.
A spokesperson for Unison said it had not yet made a recommendation but would be consulting members in the coming days.
Meanwhile, GMB has advised its members to reject the offer.
The RCN has been lobbying for a 12.5% increase for nursing staff across the UK through its Fair Pay for Nursing campaign.
Julie Lamberth, chair of the board of RCN Scotland, said: “Our members are exhausted.
“This past year has exacerbated long standing issues and taken its toll; we know many are thinking of leaving the profession.
“Governments across the UK need to demonstrate that nursing staff are valued. That’s why we are campaigning for 12.5%.”
She said it was important that all members working in the NHS in Scotland had their say on the offer through the ballot.
“We see this pay offer for what it is: A pre-election punt…that looks better than it really is”
RCN Scotland was advising its members to reject the offer, added Ms Lamberth.
“We believe the nursing profession deserves fair pay that recognises our contribution, supports retention and recruitment to ensure patient safety and compensates for the failure of salaries to keep up with the cost of living over the last 10 years,” she said.
The 4% pay offer was announced by the Scottish Government just hours before MSPs were forced to put their parliamentary work on hold ahead of the 6 May Holyrood elections.
The offer came amid backlash over the UK Government’s 1% pay recommendation for NHS workers in England.
GMB Scotland organiser Karen Leonard said: “The offer doesn’t value our members properly, it doesn’t restore the pay they’ve lost after a decade of cuts, and it doesn’t secure their future. That’s why are recommending its rejection.
“We see this pay offer for what it is: A pre-election punt by an outgoing health secretary that looks better than it really is when put up against the insulting 1% increase for our NHS colleagues in England.”
A spokesperson for the RCM said that while it would not be making a recommendation, it would be laying out all of the relevant facts and letting members decide.
Likewise, a spokesperson for Unite said that as the offer had different implications for different sections of its membership, the union would be leaving it to members with no recommendation.
The RCN has provided a break down of what the Scottish Government’s offer would mean for nursing staff across different bands on the Agenda for Change pay scale.
The college said health care support workers on bands 1-4 would receive a pay rise of between 4% and 5.4%; registered nurses on bands 5-7 would get 4%; while senior nurses on bands 8-9 would receive 2% or less.