Crunch talks aimed at ending an indefinite strike by NHS Tayside pharmacy workers will take place today.
Pharmacy support workers at Ninewells Hospital and Perth Royal Infirmary went out on continuous strike a week ago in their dispute over wages.
The 41 workers have been calling for the health board to raise their pay band by a level for a decade and walked out last week in a bid to force NHS Tayside’s hand.
Picket lines have been set up outside both hospitals.
Representatives from NHS Tayside and the Unite trade union met on Friday in an effort to resolve the dispute.
However, NHS Tayside said it had been instructed by the Scottish Government to refer the matter to the Scottish Terms and Conditions Committee (STAC), which health secretary Jeanne Freeman later confirmed.
Unite had previously agreed to NHS Tayside’s proposal that an external panel would be set up from the Ayrshire and Arran Health Board to hear the job evaluation appeal but this was cancelled at the last minute by the Scottish Government.
Unite has now proposed NHS Tayside constitutes a local panel using the same procedures that were agreed with Ayrshire and Arran Health Board.
Unite regional industrial officer Susan Robertson said the health board had agreed to this suggestion “in principle”.
She added: “Unite reached out to NHS Tayside with proposals to resolve this dispute, which has always been our objective.
“We are happy that NHS Tayside following their constructive talks with the Scottish Government has agreed to our proposals and a date has now been set for Monday to iron out the terms of engagement.
“At the moment, Unite members will remain on the picket line but we are hopeful that a way forward has now been found to resolve the dispute.”