NHS Scotland staff will be offered at least a 9% pay rise over the next three years – the highest NHS pay uplift being offered in the UK.

The proposals will see all 147,000 NHS ‘Agenda for Change’ staff benefit from a pay uplift, linked to an examination of potential reforms to some terms and conditions.

NHS staff who will receive the pay rise include all nurses, midwives, allied health professionals and paramedics.

Subject to agreement by NHS Unions, employees currently earning up to £80,000 will receive a minimum cumulative uplift of 9%, and those earning £80,000 and over will receive a flat rate increase of £1,600 a year. Staff not at the top of their pay bands will also receive any incremental progression pay uplifts they are due.

By 2020/21, Scottish staff will be significantly better paid than NHS staff anywhere else in the UK. For example, relative to staff in England:

  • Pay for a porter at the top of Band 2 will be over £1,200 more
  • Pay for a healthcare assistant at the top of Band 3 will be over £1,450 more
  • Pay for a healthcare support worker at the top of Band 4 will be over £800 more
  • Pay for a ward nurse at the top of Band 5 will be over £1,030 more
  • Pay for a paramedic at the top of Band 6 will be nearly £1,280 more
  • Pay for an advanced nurse practitioner at the top of Band 7 will be over £1,500 more

The pay rise is linked to exploring reforms of terms and conditions, including sickness absence policy, organisational change and future protection of earnings, policy on time-off for those who have worked additional hours, and appraisal and career progression – details of which will be discussed in partnership between NHS employers, unions and the Scottish Government over the course of this year. Details of the changes to the terms and conditions will be agreed by December 2018.

Renfrewshire MSP Derek Mackay said:

“I know the last few years of pay restraint have been tough, and that is why I’m proud that the budget I brought forward this year included the lifting of the 1% pay cap for public sector workers – the first government in the UK to do so.

“The NHS is built on the hard work and commitment of its dedicated staff. This significant pay rise in recognition for the work they do caring for the people across Renfrewshire and Scotland.

“In Government, the SNP are doing all that we can to recruit new talent and retain existing staff, ensuring NHS Scotland has the right skills and experience to meet future demand and rising expectations.”