Scores of NHS Tayside workers could be in line for a four-figure pay rise after the health board agreed to raise salaries of some of its lowest paid staff.
Healthcare assistants could see their salaries rise by up to £2000 a year, backdated to 2015, under the agreement.
Healthcare assistants support nurses and other medical staff in hospitals.
They are responsible for completing a variety of duties including washing and dressing patients, serving meals, helping patients move around and monitoring their conditions.
Currently, many of NHS Tayside’s healthcare assistants are only on Band 2, the health board’s second-lowest pay grade, earning between £17,460 and £19,470.
Raising the pay threshold could mean as much as £2,000 a year to qualifying staff.
The deal was agreed following meetings between NHS Tayside management and the trade union Unison.
George Doherty, NHS Tayside’s director of workforce, said: “NHS Tayside is currently working in partnership on a review of healthcare assistant roles.
“This was jointly developed initially with Unison and we are progressing agreed process through which some staff will see an enrichment of their role alongside the opportunity for increased earnings.”
Raymond Marshall, Unison joint branch secretary, said: “The review of healthcare assistant roles is an initiative proposed by Unison that we believe will not only offer benefit for our members, but also improve the delivery of care to the people of Tayside.
“This reflects the development of the healthcare assistant role in hospitals and in the community.
“We believe this demonstrates the benefits of positive working between trades unions and employers.”
Conservative north east Scotland MSP Bill Bowman said: “I support the strengthening of high-quality jobs in NHS Tayside and hope this will improve retention and training opportunities.
“Many of today’s healthcare assistants are tomorrow’s nurses – and we badly need both.
“In terms of pure finances, the health board’s woes and the lack of action by Scottish Ministers are well-documented.
“The taxpayer has already bailed NHS Tayside out by £50 million.
“But I expect the new leadership of the board to do better and support workers with well-paid work, and patients as a result.”