NHS staff in Scotland have been offered a pay rise of at least 4%, the Scottish Government said tonight.

The announcement comes following discussions between the government, trade unions and NHS employers over a pay rise for NHS Scotland Agenda for Change staff.

If accepted, the government says the pay rises will benefit 154,000 NHS Agenda for Change employees – including nurses, paramedics, allied health professionals, as well as domestic, healthcare support staff, porters and other front line health workers.

Health secretary Jeane Freeman said: “Following positive discussions with NHS unions and employees the Scottish Government has put forward an offer of the biggest single pay uplift since devolution for NHS Agenda for Change staff.

“Over 154,000 staff would benefit from this rise, which would see the average pay of a front line NHS Nurse rise by over £1200 a year.

“This deal also includes support staff such as domestic staff, porters and health care support workers, the backbone of our services, who would see pay rises of over £1000 – uplifts of between 4% – 5.4%. The uplift will be backdated from 1 December 2020, rather than the usual 1 April 2021, meaning all those covered by the deal will receive an extra benefit.

“This has been an exceptionally challenging year for our health service and I am pleased that the Scottish Government is able to recognise the service and dedication of our healthcare staff.”

Trade unions will now present the offer to their members for consideration.

Colin Poolman, Chair of STAC and Royal College of Nursing Scotland Senior Officer said: “The timescale for negotiations was tight as a result of the forthcoming election but we have now received an offer for a one-year pay deal.”

Willie Duffy, Staffside Secretary of STAC and Unison Regional Organiser added: “Each of the individual trade unions will now enter into discussions with their members on the offer.”

The pay settlement follows the £500 thank you payment for all health and social care workers which was announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in November.

Earlier this month Prime Minister Boris Johnson defended plans to give some NHS staff in England a 1% pay rise.