A RECORD 5% pay deal being offered to NHS workers in Scotland is “unacceptable”, union bosses have said.

Unite joined other unions in criticising the offer, branding it a “substantial, real terms pay cut” which it will urge members to reject.

The union warned ministers that unless they “return with an acceptable offer”, they could face the prospect of industrial action.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite’s NHS Scotland workers have made it crystal clear that the current offer on the table is a substantial real terms pay cut, and it is unacceptable.

“This pay offer certainly won’t address the current cost of living crisis facing our members.

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“The Scottish Government needs to return with an acceptable offer to our NHS workers or face potential industrial action by our members, who will have the full support of their union in this fight for fair pay.”

It comes after Health Secretary Humza Yousaf announced the “biggest single-year NHS pay uplift since devolution”.

Regarding the proposed pay hike, he said: “It is a demonstration of how much we value our NHS staff who have worked tirelessly to keep us safe during the course of the pandemic.”

The Royal College of Midwives said the offer – which would see frontline NHS staff receive pay rises of between £1000 and £2400 a year – is “simply not good enough”, while the Royal College of Nursing said it “falls far short of our expectations of a fair pay award”.

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James O’Connell, Unite’s regional officer, said: “Unite’s NHS representatives have formally recommended rejection of the current pay offer. Staff are exhausted, morale is at an all-time low: it’s time to recognise our NHS staff and pay them as if we care for them the same way as they care for us.”

He called on Mr Yousaf to “re-engage with the trade unions and to reopen the pay discussions”, and if not, Unite would have “no option” but to canvass for industrial action.

O’Connell added if this does not happen, “Unite will be left with no option but to canvass thousands of our NHS Scotland members in the coming weeks over industrial action”.