Badenoch’s MSP has welcomed the Scottish Government’s salary boost for more than 8500 NHS Highland staff.
Over 148,000 NHS Scotland employees staff will be offered a minimum nine-per-cent pay rise over the next three years - the highest NHS pay uplift being offered in the whole of the UK.
This follows the First Minister’s recent announcement that NHS Agenda for Change employees would receive a three per cent pay increase in next month’s pay packet and backdated to the beginning of the year.
Relative to staff in England, NHS Scotland nurses, midwives, allied health professionals and paramedics, amongst others, will receive a minimum cumulative uplift of nine per cent, and those earning £80,000 and over will receive a flat rate increase of £1,600 a year. The changes will be agreed between NHS employers, unions and the Scottish Government by the end of the year.
Kate Forbes, MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, said: "This is a hugely important investment in the 8,501 NHS staff who look after us day in day out right across the Highlands.
"Whilst the NHS often seems to attract headlines, the hard work of NHS staff seems to go relatively unnoticed. They deserve our thanks and fair pay is one way of doing that.
"Currently, Advanced Nurse Practitioners in Scotland are getting paid £430 more a year than those in England, and if they secured a job with a band 7 salary last year, they’d see their salary grow by over £8,800 over the next three years.
"Not only are staffing levels in NHS Scotland at historically high levels – but the SNP Government is also making sure that our healthcare professionals are getting the best pay deal in the whole of the UK and making our NHS a more attractive place to work.
"That is critically important in the Highlands where it can be harder to recruit and retain staff.
"I would like to thank the hard-working staff in NHS Highlands on the front line who go to incredible efforts on our behalf."