South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has given his full backing to calls for a fair pay rise for our ‘amazing’ nurses, after Royal College of Nursing members working in NHS Scotland rejected a recent Scottish Government pay offer.
RCN members are now being balloted on taking possible strike action and Colin Smyth met with nurses from RCN at the Scottish Parliament on Thursday to mark the opening of the ballot.
More than 300,000 RCN members received ballot papers on Thursday, launching the RCN’s biggest strike ballot in its 106-year history.
The ballot relates to NHS pay. A below inflation NHS pay award has been announced in England and Wales, and a below inflation NHS pay offer has been made in Scotland. RCN has said that this is “unacceptable”.
Colin Smyth said: “Our amazing nurses deserve better than this – they deserve fair pay.
“I fully back our nurses in taking whatever action they feel they must to secure decent pay and conditions. We are currently in the midst of a cost of living crisis which is affecting everyone.
“While our NHS is still suffering after Covid, the issues around recruitment and proper funding of our services have existed for years, and it is our nurses who are paying the price. Nurses are underpaid and our wards understaffed, and they are struggling. If we don’t give our nurses a decent pay rise, then we will continue to have understaffed wards.”