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NHS Scotland industrial action suspended after fresh pay offer made 

by Ozva Admin

Industrial action by NHS workers has been suspended after a new wage offer.

It comes after “extensive” talks involving Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon, health secretary Humza Yousaf, NHS Scotland and unions.

The new offer will be presented to Unite union members who work in the Scottish health service.

Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) staff were due to take industrial action ahead of the strike on Thursday.

However, Unite has confirmed that the action has been suspended while the new offer is considered.

An advisory vote of all NHS workers who are members of Unite will take place, and the union aims to complete the vote by December 12.

Unite has indicated that the new offer includes a wage increase agreement, as well as a commitment to reduce the staff’s work week from 37.5 hours to 36 hours without loss of wages.

James O’Connell, Unite’s chief negotiator for NHS Scotland, welcomed the offer after talks.

“Unite believes that the improved offer deserves to be considered by our members across the NHS,” he said.

“We will vote members on this offer and it is up to them to decide if the offer meets their expectations.

“We appreciate the work of all parties that has gone into achieving this new offer and we acknowledge the direct involvement of the Prime Minister in helping to secure a larger offer that could be presented to our members for consideration.”

Pat McIlvogue, Unite regional officer at SAS, added: “The suspension of our action barring strike within SAS is done in good faith to facilitate an advisory vote by our members on the Scottish Government’s improved offer.

“We await the result of the vote for our next step.”

Humza Yousaf said it is the “best and final” payment offer being made by the Scottish government.

“We have engaged tirelessly with union representatives over the past few weeks, leaving no stone unturned to come up with an offer that addresses key staff concerns across the service,” he said.

“This latest best payment offer of over half a billion pounds underscores our commitment to supporting our fantastic NHS staff.

“A newly qualified nurse would see a pay increase of 8.7% and experienced nurses would get increases of between £2,450 and £2,751.”

The health secretary explained that if it is agreed, the salary increase will be retroactive to April.

“We are making this offer at a time of extraordinary financial challenges for the Scottish government,” Yousaf said.

“We have made the best possible offer to put money in the pockets of hard working staff and avoid industrial action in what is already going to be an incredibly challenging winter.

“If the offer is accepted, this salary increase will also roll back to April.

“Finally, I urge the UK Government to come back to the bargaining table with the unions.

“This agreement has been shaped by the constructive approach of the unions and I hope their members will support it.”

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