The Scottish Government may have rubber-stamped a 4% pay rise for NHS workers – but many in Dundee are calling for the amount to be increased further after a year like no other for healthcare staff.
The proposed wage increase announced this week is four times higher than in England, and will be backdated to December 2020.
It will increase the annual salary of the average NHS employee up by £1,200.
But on the streets of Dundee, people were calling for the pay rise to be hiked further.
Patrick Alexander, an 81-year-old from Woodside Terrace, said: “It’s pretty poor actually, for the work they have done.
“They’ve risked their lives.”
Thomas Gallacher, a 60-year-old from the City Centre, added: “I think they should get a bit more.
“They’re doing a good job.”
Our NHS staff deserve more than applause and 1% is not enough. @scotgov is offering a 4% pay rise, which would deliver guaranteed minimum increase of £1000 for those earning less than £25,000 & 5.4% increase for staff on lowest pay band…and all backdated to December 2020. https://t.co/ZsQvXMt16Q
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) March 24, 2021
Others, such as Patricia Murray, 50, have called for the pay rise to be extended to other groups who have worked throughout the pandemic.
She said: “I don’t think it’s fair because everyone should be getting it, like carers as well as NHS staff.
“My daughter has got carers coming in – anyone that helps disabled kids and adults.”
Many also said the 1% proposed pay increase for NHS staff in England should rise to 4% in line with Scotland.
Patricia added: “England is getting different from Scotland and it’s not really fair.
“It’s only fair that England should get it as well.”
The Scottish Government says the deal, if accepted by unions, will be the “most generous National Health Service pay uplift anywhere in the UK”.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “More than 154,000 staff would benefit from this rise, which would see the average pay of a frontline NHS nurse rise by over £1,200 a year.
“This deal also includes support staff such as domestic staff, porters and healthcare support workers, the backbone of our services, who would see pay rises of more than £1,000 – uplifts of between 4% and 5.4%.
“The uplift will be backdated from December 1 2020, rather than the usual April 1 2021.”
A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care pointed out that in England, public sector staff, including NHS employees are receiving a minimum £250 pay uplift, or National Living Wage increase, whichever is higher.
They said: “We are incredibly grateful to staff across the health sector who are working tirelessly on the frontline of this pandemic.
“Over one million NHS staff continue to benefit from multi-year pay deals agreed with trade unions, which have delivered a pay rise of over 12% for newly qualified nurses and will increase junior doctors’ pay scales by 8.2%.
“Pay rises in the rest of the public sector will be paused this year due to the challenging economic environment, but we will continue to provide pay rises for NHS workers, on top investment in professional development and increased recruitment.
“That’s with record numbers of doctors and nurses working in our NHS, and with nursing university applications up by over a third.”