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‘Botched’ pay dispute means Tayside nurses face further wait

Nurses face a further wait.
Nurses face a further wait.

Tayside district nurses are back to square one with their long-running pay claim.

At a meeting with health bosses this week, the nurses were told it was effectively back to the drawing board in their row over pay grades.

It has been decided new job descriptions are now needed, further delaying the process.

Nurses are increasingly frustrated.

NHS Tayside say they also now face a review of their system for job evaluation because of the matter.

An NHS Fife lanyard and a face mask
Tayside nurses feel they are “back to square one”.

One of the nurses involved, who didn’t want to be named, told us they were shocked.

She says: “It’s just ridiculous – we’re back to square one now – we’re being told it’s become too messy and basically the whole thing has to start again.”

The nurses claim they’re also in the dark all of the findings of a national review.

“It’s getting to the stage we can’t trust anything anyone is telling us and we are all absolutely fed up. This has been going on since 2018.

“We’re all reasonable people but this has just dragged on and on.”

Why is it taking so long?

There’s a detailed history to this matter.

It’s been dealt with at a national level and even raised in the Scottish Parliament last year.

Since 2018:

  • Extensive discussions between NHS Tayside and relevant trade unions took place, but a local resolution wasn’t reached.
  • The grading of the district nurse job description was then referred to the Scottish Terms and Conditions Committee (STAC) late last year.
  • STAC is a national partnership group of management and staff representatives. It is the ultimate responsible body for job evaluation across NHS Scotland.
  • STAC met with all parties and have now written to NHS Tayside bosses with their findings and recommendations.

What happens next over NHS nurses’ pay?

STAC says new job descriptions need to be drafted and agreed for district nurses in NHS Tayside.

They have said this must be done in partnership. STAC have also offered to have them matched by two independent panels once they’re finalised.

If there is any change to the grading of the role, it will apply from May 8 2018. This means long-awaited extra cash for the nurses.

Having met with the District Nurses, it is clear that NHS Tayside has failed to provide enough clarity on the situation, how they got here and how they are going to fix things.”

Michael Marra MSP

A spokesperson for NHS Tayside says: “A joint group will be convened immediately to finalise any job descriptions, which will then be submitted to STAC for evaluation.

“STAC has also stated the job evaluation system in Tayside should be subject to an external review.

“NHS Tayside has accepted this and will now commission a review.”

MSP Michael Marra hit out at the long-running issue.

He says he’s written to NHS Tayside to get clarity for the workforce.

Michael Marra has written to the NHS on the matter of pay for nurses.
Michael Marra has written to the NHS on the matter of pay for nurses.

He says: “This botched process from NHS Tayside has rolled on for years.

“Our frontline staff deserve so much better.

“Having met with the district nurses, it is clear that NHS Tayside has failed to provide enough clarity on the situation, how they got here and how they are going to fix things.

“The decision to not give the nurses access to the recent STAC review into the grading dispute is a mistake.

“It will only serve to further reduce trust in the process.

“I have written to the chief executive of NHS Tayside to ask for immediate access to the report so these vital staff members can have some trust in the process deciding whether they will receive the pay and terms and conditions that their work deserves.”

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