Review of roles offers pay rise to lowest paid NHS Scotland staff
Thousands of the lowest paid NHS Scotland staff could benefit from higher wages though a pay initiative announced by the Scottish Government.
The programme, which could increase the pay of around 7,000 NHS employees, will see band 1 staff given the opportunity to enhance their job roles and responsibilities in order to move up to band 2 positions.
Training will be provided where necessary to allow them to meet the requirements of their new roles.
The initiative ties in with the Scottish Government’s wider move to boost the pay of public sector workers on low incomes, which includes a requirement on the NHS to pay the living wage and an increase the low pay threshold beneath which employees receive a minimum pay increase of more than one per cent to £22,000.
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Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “The Scottish Government is determined to tackle low pay across our public services and this review fits within our wider low pay agenda.
“As well as giving people access to higher pay, this initiative is also designed to enhance resilience within the service by creating a more flexible and skilled workforce.
"Our commitment to reviewing band 1 pay underlines the value we place on NHS staff who work incredibly hard every day to serve the people of Scotland."
Tom Waterson, Chair of UNISON Scottish Health Committee, commented: “Whilst this agreement is a major achievement, its success should not be measured in monetary terms alone.
"This is an opportunity to ensure that a proper career structure is put in place for all bands whilst maintaining the integrity of the Agenda for Change job evaluation system.
“The way in which this exercise has been taken forward shows that the partnership model of staff engagement is one that benefits all parties, not least patients.”
The announcement follows the Scottish Government's pledge to fully implement the recommendations of the independent NHS Pay Review Body for 2016.
Scotland is the only part of the UK to accept the review body’s recommendations for all of the last three years, which makes NHS staff in Scotland the highest paid in the UK, according to the Scottish Government.
The policy is to be enacted by health boards in partnership with trade unions between March and October 2016.