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Unison Scotland members working locally in the NHS are to vote on a pay offer following talks between unions and the Scottish Government.
A ballot on the proposal will take place in mid-April which could see wage increases for those working in non-medical roles such as porters, cleaners, catering and administrative staff.
Unison convenor Britt Doughty-Godchaux, who works for NHS Highland at the Lorn and Islands District General Hospital in Oban, said it would help reward the ‘unsung heroes’ who had served on the ‘invisible frontline’ of the pandemic.
They had seen workloads and responsibilities increase as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, she said.
Depending on particular grades, the offer could represent a rise of between four and over five per cent for some, backdated to December 1, 2020.
Unison has more than 550 members across Argyll and Bute and 125 in Oban.
Any pay award is likely to benefits hundreds of NHS employees across NHS Highland.
Ms Doughty-Godchaux said there was a feeling that the Scottish Government genuinely valued the role of NHS workers during the last year.
In England, there was an outcry across NHS staff there following a proposal tabled by the Department of Health and Social Care to offer a one per cent rise.
In what is a democratic decision by members, it will be a digital ballot.
No recommendation is made whether members should accept or refuse although it is anticipated that the above-inflation rise is broadly welcomed.
While it falls short of a £2,000 across-the-board campaign started last year, Unison have called it a serious proposal.
Willie Duffy, Unison Scotland’s head of health said: ‘This is a final offer as a result of the forthcoming election.
‘This past year has highlighted the dedication, skill and sacrifices that all NHS staff make. Their contribution must be recognised in their pay packets.
‘It was simply not good enough to push negotiations to the summer and blame the UK Government for the delay so we are pleased to have made significant progress in these pay talks.
‘However, the final decision on whether to accept this offer lies with Unison members and we look forward to consulting them in the coming weeks.’