UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

UNISON welcomes living wage in NHS Scotland

UNISON Scotland has secured a Living Wage of £7.29 for 4,500 people in NHS Scotland following 10 years of achievements on low pay starting with the Low Pay Deal in in 2001. This brought the entry grade from £4.62 (the UK Whitley Council rate) up to £5.02 and reduced the working week to 37.5 hours (ahead of 2004 agenda for Change reduction).

UNISON Scotland also secured an early introduction (6 months earlier implementation than England) of NHS rates for Contractor Staffs under the Scottish Two Tier agreement in 2006, which saw rates of £5.55 from 1 April 2005 and £5.69 from 1 October 2005.

1 April 2011 sees the Scottish Government implantation of the Living Wage rate of £7.29 from that date(assuming £250 increase on second point of Band 1). The Government estimates the Living wage will benefit 4,500 people in NHS Scotland and add £2 million to the paybill.

Thomas Waterson, Chair of Scottish Health Committee said: "We applaud the Scottish Government's action in introducing the Living Wage in NHS Scotland. This is far more than a fringe benefit. It goes to the heart of the household budgets of working families struggling to make ends meet. £2 million in low paid workers' pockets is a better use of tax money than millions in bank subsidies and bonus payments"

Lilian Macer, Regional Convenor, said: "This is the culmination of a decade of campaigning and negotiation by UNISON Scotland starting with the Low Pay Deal in 2001 which introduced £5 per hour. It is a wise investment by the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, as poor families being better able to feed their families and heat their homes will assist in the ill health prevention and public health agenda"