Pay Up Now Update

Support the UNISON Pay up Now campaign for a decent pay rise by contacting your MSPs and MPs and asking them to support the campaign. Ask your friends and family to email too. The campaign has already won agreement to start pay talks for a rise this year. We need to keep our campaign going to make sure the talks result in NHS workers getting the pay rise they deserve.

UNISON, Scotland’s biggest health union, held socially distanced demonstrations across Scotland on 18 August. UNISON’s Pay up Now campaign is thanking the public and asking them for their continued support for a NHS pay rise. More detail on the pay claim is available here 

Tom Waterson, chair of UNISON Scotland’s health committee, said: “We’re pleased the health secretary has listened to our members and has recognised the need for them to be paid fairly for the essential work they do. The applause and kind words shown during the difficult days of the pandemic were a huge source of comfort to NHS staff, but it’s only right that the government now shows its appreciation in a different way.

“Our NHS staff are just ordinary people who have been thrust into an extraordinary situation. Proper recognition and pay to match it is the least the government can do to show they value the hard work and dedication of our NHS workers, not just during the pandemic but each and every day.”

Willie Duffy, UNISON Scotland’s head of health, said: “Since the start of this pandemic, our NHS workers have shown immense dedication, commitment and compassion and it is time they are fairly rewarded.

“We’re pleased the health secretary has agreed to reopen the present three-year pay deal and reward our NHS staff with a pay rise this year. We hope to move forward quickly to ensure we get pay into the pockets of our hard-working, dedicated NHS workers.

A4 thanks poster

Why NHS Workers Need a pay Rise 

NHS staff have had real term pay cuts over the last decade with significant extra costs over this pandemic. Including extra childcare costs because they are working extra shifts, extra transport costs because of restricted public transport, extra costs because they have being isolating from family, or even extra laundry costs and buying personal PPE.

UNISON’s survey of NHS members received 7000 responses in 24 hours. Members told us how they feel working through this crisis.

NHS staff have been working long hours and many report being mentally and physically exhausted. Their response to this pandemic has been heroic. The public support for our heroic NHS workers throughout this pandemic has been amazing. Thursday night clapping was hugely appreciated by health workers across the UK. However the reality is that NHS workers have seen their pay eroded over the past decade. Some NHS staff are among the lower paid in Scotland. So please continue your support for NHS workers. They deserve it.

  • 87% think the NHS should consider a further pay award this year
  • 80% say they are tired or very tired
  • 72% say they are exhausted after work
  • 30% of staff are not getting adequate breaks

Quotes from survey participants

‘I am very grateful for having employment during this difficult Pandemic, and  for the extra hours. However, as I do not drive, I have had to use taxis to get me to work, and have been working 6 days out of 7 since 20th March, this has cost me in excess of 1 weeks wages every month.’

‘Covid 19 has affected me financially. I used to get 2 buses home and now because of COVID-19 bus schedules have to take a train and a bus which costs extra. Also on bank holidays the buses are even worse and I have to take a taxi to and from work’.

‘I have had to buy masks and hand gel to get to and from work safely. Extra showers and washing uniforms daily instead of leaving them in the laundry pile is costing more electricity’

Pay Up Now

Other comments include:

‘Don’t call us NHS heroes then dismiss us when it comes to pay’,

‘NHS nurses work very hard; a clap is appreciated but wont pay our bills’,

‘You have absolutely no idea how healthcare workers in hospitals feel at the moment, stressed and fearful for their own families’

‘We have done our bit for the NHS now it’s time for them to do theirs for us and give a fair pay rise’

‘Clapping and banging pots and pans don’t pay bills,