A review of the roles and responsibilities of NHS Scotland band 1 staff will lead to further pay rises for around 7,000 employees.
The initiative gives all NHS Scotland staff on the lowest pay band the opportunity to enhance their job roles and move to higher paid band 2 posts. Training will be offered to staff, where necessary, to allow them to meet the requirements of their new roles.
Management and staff of NHS Scotland agreed the principles of the review and it will now be for health boards to take it forward in partnership between March and October.
The review ties in with the SNP Government’s wider commitment to support those on low incomes. This includes a requirement on the NHS in Scotland to pay the Living Wage, and increasing the low pay threshold beneath which employees receive a minimum pay increase of more than one per cent to £22,000.
It also comes after the Scottish Government confirmed it would fully implement the recommendations of the independent NHS Pay Review Body for 2016. Scotland is the only part of the UK to accept the Review Body’s recommendations for each of the last three years, meaning NHS staff in Scotland are, and will continue to be, the highest paid in the UK.
Health Secretary Shona Robison said:
“The SNP Government is determined to tackle low pay across our public services and this review fits within our wider low pay agenda.
“By developing band 1 staff into band 2 positions, around 7,000 NHS employees across Scotland will be better off.
“As well as giving people higher pay, this initiative is also designed to enhance resilience within the service by creating a more flexible and skilled workforce.
“The review will now be taken forward by health boards in partnership with trade unions.
"Our commitment to reviewing band 1 pay underlines the value we place on NHS staff who work incredibly hard every day to serve the people of Scotland."
Tom Waterson Chair of UNISON's Scottish Health Committee said:
“Whilst this agreement is a major achievement, its success should not be measured in monetary terms alone. This is an opportunity to ensure a proper career structure is put in place for all bands whilst maintaining the integrity of the Agenda for Change job evaluation system.
“The way this exercise has been taken forward shows that the partnership model of staff engagement is one that benefits all parties, not least patients.”