THE Scottish Government has announced a fresh NHS pay offer, prompting strikes for Scottish Ambulance Service workers to be called off.

The deal would see a 7.5% overall uplift to NHS salaries in a package that would be worth £515 million in 2022-2023, while no staff member would get a pay rise of less than £2205. 

The Government says the offer would benefit more than 160,000 employees including nurses, paramedics, allied health professionals and healthcare support staff.  

In a statement, the Government described it as a “record-high pay offer” for staff on the front line of the health service.

The latest deal would see annual pay rises ranging from £2205 for the lowest and highest paid workers to a £2751 increase for some staff in band 8a.

It would equate to an 11.3% increase for the lowest-paid workers.

All salary rises would be backdated to April.

On Twitter, Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said that if accepted, the package would ensure that Scotland’s NHS staff “remain [the] best paid in the UK”.

Yousaf said in a statement that the Government was “leaving no stone unturned to reach an offer which responds to the key concerns of staff across the service”.

He added: “We are making this offer at a time of extraordinary financial challenges to the Scottish Government.

“We have made the best offer possible to get money into the pockets of hard-working staff and to avoid industrial action, in what is already going to be an incredibly challenging winter. If the offer is agreed this pay uplift will also be backdated to April."

James O’Connell, Unite’s lead negotiator for NHS Scotland, said: “Unite believes that the improved offer deserves to be considered by our members across the NHS.

“We will be balloting members on this offer and it is for them to decide if the offer meets their expectations.

“We appreciate the work on all sides that has gone into achieving this new offer and recognise the direct involvement of the First Minister in helping to obtain an increased offer that could be put to our members for consideration.”

Meanwhile, Unite and GMB have called off strikes that were scheduled for ambulance staff on Friday and will ballot their members on whether to accept the latest deal.

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The Royal College of Nursing (RCN), the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, and Unison had also voted to undertake industrial action over the dispute.

The RCN has confirmed that its board members would consider the detail of the latest pay offer after delaying a formal announcement on strikes while negotiations were ongoing this week.

Unison has now recommended its members accept the offer.