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All NHS staff need a pay rise that's above inflation, say Scottish health unions

15th September 2017

Following the statement, that NHS unions are today (Friday) breaking with tradition and submitting a pay claim directly to the UK government on behalf of more than one million health workers across the UK. NHS unions in Scotland say they will be meeting Scottish employers on (Wednesday) 20th September 2017 submit the exact same pay claim to their employers at the NHS Scottish terms and conditions committee.

Willie Duffy, UNISON Scotland's head of health, said: "UNISON Scotland, with other NHS unions, will formally submit a claim to the NHS employers on (Wednesday) 20th September 2017 as part of our on going evidence to the NHS pay review body and Scottish government. In line with health unions across the UK, we will asking for a pay rise in line with inflation (Retail Price Index) and we will be attempting to recover past loses."

Thomas Waterson, UNISON Scotland's chair of health committee said: "Both UK and Scottish governments need to understand the issue of NHS pay is not going away. UNISON, and other NHS unions, will continue our protests and are working towards a mass mobilisation of public sector workers on Saturday 7 October 2017 in Edinburgh. And UNISON will continue this campaign until NHS workers recieve a just and fair pay rise."

The pay claim in Scotland follows, a letter to the Chancellor, from14 UK health unions including UNISON, the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of Midwives, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, Unite and the GMB, are asking Philip Hammond to earmark funds in the November Budget for a pay rise in line with inflation (Retail Price Index). The claim also calls for an additional £800 to restore some of the pay lost over the past seven years.

Cleaners, nurses, radiographers, pharmacists, midwives, medical secretaries, paramedics, therapists, dental technicians, as well as caterers, porters and everyone else who works in the NHS have suffered real terms pay cuts of around fifteen per cent because of the government's harsh pay policies, say unions.

NHS unions believe the government has undermined the role of the independent pay review body and severely restricted its ability to make recommendations. Health unions are therefore seizing the initiative today and going directly to the UK government.

UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said: "Health workers have gone without a proper pay rise for far too long. Their wages continue to fall behind inflation as food and fuel bills, housing and transport costs rise. NHS staff and their families need a pay award that stops the rot and starts to restore some of the earnings that have been missed out on.

"A decent pay rise will make it easier for struggling hospital trusts to attract new recruits and hold onto experienced staff. Continuing with the pay cap will further damage services, and that affects us all. The government must give the NHS the cash it needs so its entire workforce gets a decent rise, without the need for more services to be cut.

“There must be no selective lifting of the cap, as with police and prison officers a few days ago. All public servants, no matter where in the country they live or what job they do, deserve a proper pay rise."

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