The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is recommending that members working in the NHS reject the Scottish Government’s pay offer.

The RCN is calling on members to reject the 4% rise and are calling for 12.5%.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that NHS staff on pay bands 1 to 7 would receive at least a 4% pay rise compared with 2020/21, with workers earning less than £25,000 guaranteed a minimum increase of more than £1,000 in 2021/22.

But the RCN said Scotland’s registered nurses and health care support workers deserve a 12.5% rise due to the skill, responsibility and experience they demonstrate every day.

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The college said the higher pay bands would ensure safe staffing levels and help to fill vacant posts, and added that nursing salaries have failed to keep pace with increasing living costs.

HeraldScotland:

NHS staff have been put under pressure during the Covid crisis

Julie Lamberth, chairwoman of the RCN Scotland board, said: “Our members are exhausted. This past year has exacerbated long-standing issues and taken its toll; we know many are thinking of leaving the profession.

“Governments across the UK need to demonstrate that nursing staff are valued. That’s why we are campaigning for 12.5%.

“It is important that all members working in the NHS have their say on this offer.

“We believe the nursing profession deserves fair pay that recognises our contribution, supports retention and recruitment to ensure patient safety, and compensates for the failure of salaries to keep up with the cost of living over the last 10 years.

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“We are recommending our members reject this offer.”

The GMB Scotland union is recommending its members turn down the offer when a consultative ballot is held next month.

GMB Scotland organiser Karen Leonard said: “The offer doesn’t value our members properly, it doesn’t restore the pay they’ve lost after a decade of cuts, and it doesn’t secure their future.”