Majority of NHS Scotland GMB union members reject latest Scottish Government pay offer

Majority of NHS Scotland GMB union members reject latest Scottish Government pay offer

Two-thirds of NHS Scotland staff who are members of the GMB union have rejected the latest wage offer from the Scottish government.

Some 66% of members voted to reject the offer, which would have seen workers receive an average pay increase of 7.5%.

GMB Scotland has over 8,000 members employed in NHS Scotland and its associated services, including 1,700 members in the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS).

It means the threat of strike action by GMB members who work for the NHS and SAS continues to loom.

Keir Greenaway, Senior Public Service Organizer for GMB Scotland, said: “The result reflects the views of our members and the realities of this offer.

“It is still below inflation for the vast majority of the staff, who have worked in the depths of the pandemic and are fighting this cost of living crisis, and it does not go far enough on its own to address understaffing. neither is the crisis affecting front-line services.

“The Scottish government has contrasted its approach to union engagement with that of the UK government, so we are now asking the Cabinet Secretary to practice what he preaches by meeting our members this side of Christmas to continue discussions about his value and sustainability of their services.”

The GMB announcement comes as thousands of nurses across England, Wales and Northern Ireland went on strike on Thursday in the biggest strike in nursing history.

Around a quarter of the hospitals and community teams in England, along with all the trusts in Northern Ireland and all but one health board in Wales, are part of the industrial action.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf told STV News last week that believes he still has the support of NHS staff in Scotland.

Yousaf said: “They want us to put our money where our mouth is and that’s why we’ve offered this significant salary deal, so I think you can rest assured because we’re putting that record-breaking salary deal on the table.”

Following negotiations with Yousaf and intervention by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, the deal offered pay increases ranging from £2,205 to £2,751, which ministers said meant NHS workers in Scotland would remain the highest paid in the world. United Kingdom.

The lowest paid staff would get a rise of 11.3%, with an average rise of 7.5%.

The offer also includes a commitment to reduce the work week from 37.5 hours to 36 hours without loss of wages.

What have the other unions decided?

Join NHS Scotland members called off the industrial action on Monday, with 64% of members voting to accept the improved offer tabled two weeks ago.

Members of Unison, the largest health union, also voted to cancel the action, with 57% backing the deal with a 62% turnout.

“It is important that the Cabinet Secretary take into account the views of all NHS staff and not just some, because we are talking about frontline workers who understand first-hand the crisis in service delivery and patient care. , and have clear and credible views on how these services can be recovered in the coming months and years.

“The fact is that GMB members in the main services and areas of the health board have strong legal mandates to strike and an imposition of this offer without further discussion would be seriously detrimental to industrial relations which the Scottish government has rushed. to promote.

“If the cabinet secretary wants to preserve those relations, he needs to meet with our members urgently.”

The Royal College of Nursing is voting its members on an improved wage offer from the Scottish government, with the prospect of nurses’ strikes looming if the offer is rejected.

The RCN ballot will close on December 19, but it is unclear when the result will be announced.

STV survey: standards worsen

Two-thirds of adults feel the standard of care provided by the NHS in Scotland is declining as the service prepares for one of its most difficult winters.

A ScotPulse poll commissioned by STV News earlier this month found that almost half of adults (49%) are worried about getting sick this winter and 66% say the standard of care is getting worse.

Trust in the Scottish government’s management of the health service is also falling, with 44% saying they have little or no trust.

Some 55% of those surveyed said they would consider accessing private healthcare if they could afford it.

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