Pay offer for doctors and nurses is ‘real-terms cut’

Written by Tom Freeman on 24 March 2017 in News

NHS Scotland staff hear their wages will increase by one per cent for the fourth year in a row

Doctor performing test - stock image

Doctors and nursing unions have said the latest pay offer from the Scottish government represents a cut in real terms.

NHS Scotland pay scales will be increased by one per cent across the public sector from April, following public sector pay restraint which has been in place across the UK since 2010.

In Scotland this has meant NHS wage increases have been capped at one per cent, while those who earn under £22,000 will get a flat raise of £400 a year. It is the fourth year in a row staff have seen a one per cent rise.


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On Tuesday UK inflation rose to 2.3 per cent, the highest inflation level since 2013.

The chair of the British Medical Association in Scotland, Dr Peter Bennie, said it meant the offer was a cut in real terms.

“Repeated years of real terms cuts to doctors' pay have taken a substantial toll on incomes and do nothing to address the significant recruitment and retention difficulties across all grades of doctor,” he said.

Around seven per cent of consultant posts in Scotland are unfilled.

The Royal College of Nursing said nurses’ pay had decreased in real terms in Scotland by 14 per cent since 2010.

Associate director Norman Provan said: “Once again, the Scottish Government has missed an opportunity to close the gap between nurses’ pay and inflation and nurses will continue to bear the brunt of austerity measures in the NHS in Scotland.”

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