Agreement reached on pay increase for members working for NHS Scotland

PDA Union welcomes agreement and calls on the rest of the UK to follow Scotland's lead.

Wed 9th June 2021 PDA Union

An agreement has been reached on a pay increase for the NHS Scotland workforce which will see the majority of employees receive a 4% increase backdated to 1 December 2020. For those on band 8a – 8c the increase drops to 2%, and for those on 8d or above it is a flat increase of £800.

While welcoming the overall settlement, the PDA Union remains of the view that the 4% increase should have applied to all. The PDA Unions’ original assessment of the deal is here.

Despite these reservations, the PDA Union recognises this increase has many plus points as Paul Moloney, PDA Union National Officer explains: “It is disappointing that the whole workforce in the NHS in Scotland have not been treated equally and that those in more senior graded positions have received a lower percentage increase. Nevertheless, for pharmacists this increase is significantly above current measures of inflation. This has been an important objective supported by all NHS unions including the PDA Union. In addition, the decision to backdate the increase to 1 December 2020 instead of 1 April 2021 is an important part of the agreement. For someone on the midpoint of Band 7 this delivers in the region of an additional £530 before tax which for this one year is the equivalent of another 1.3% increase.”

Paul added that it is important to also recognise how this agreement relates to the UK-wide restructuring of the Agenda for Change pay rates started in 2018 and reaching its conclusion this year: “The agreement reached in 2018 to reduce the number of pay points for each band and begin a process of moving people from the old system to the new one has delivered significant increases in addition to this increase.”

Full details can be found here.

Annex B, in particular, shows how pay rates have increased since an individuals’ incremental date in 2018/19 to the new incremental points in place since April this year:

Paul continued: “The restructuring was by necessity complicated and led to significant confusion, not least among HR professionals in the various NHS employers but Annex B shows the full value of that exercise combined with this latest increase to our members and others working in the NHS in Scotland.”

Paul Day, PDA Union Director, added: “There is still a long way to go to make up what was lost during the years of austerity but in Scotland at least progress is being made. We call on the Independent Pay Review Body, the body making recommendations on NHS pay for the rest of the UK, to take note and recommend a similar increase for all NHS employees.”

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