Scottish nurses balloted over pay deal and industrial action
Members of Scotland's largest nursing union are voting on potential industrial action over the Scottish Government's pay offer.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Scotland move comes as Unison also opens a ballot for its members.
The unions have recommended that their members reject the Scottish Government's five per cent pay deal - as have the Unite and GMB unions, which have already opened their own ballots.
The Scottish Government says its offer marks the biggest single-year increase since the onset of devolution.
It would be backdated to 1 April and give frontline workers a pay boost of around £1,000 to £2,400, with all staff paid at least £10.50 per hour.
But Unison Scotland's Wilma Brown says its 35,000 members should reject the deal because "NHS staff have been taken for granted" and "staff have endured over 10 years of real term pay cuts only to be told by the Scottish Government that, yet again, they will have to accept a below inflation pay rise".
She said: "A five per cent pay increase across the board just doesn't cut it and the Scottish Government need to understand how angry we are."
And Julie Lamberth of the RCN Scotland board said: "To recruit and retain enough staff to deliver safe and effective care to patients, the Scottish Government must pay nurses what they deserve. This is a political choice."
The results of the ballots are expected by mid-August.
The Scottish Government said it is "disappointed" by the recommendation to reject the offer.