MEMBERS of the GMB union working in NHS Scotland have turned down the Scottish Government’s latest improved pay offer.

The new settlement would have seen workers receive an average uplift of 7.5%, but two-thirds (66%) of members turned that down.

The same offer was accepted by Unite and Unison earlier this week, with the Royal College of Nursing and Royal College of Midwives still balloting their members.

GMB represents NHS Scotland ambulance workers, as well as nurses, porters and radiographers.

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Last month, a majority of members voted for strike action in the Ambulance Service, as well as the Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Lothian, Forth Valley, Borders and Western Isles health boards.

With NHS workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland out on strike today – something so far avoided in Scotland – the GMB warned that industrial action could still take place north of the Border.

They called for Health Secretary Humza Yousaf to meet with members before Christmas and help avert strikes.

The National: Humza Yousaf

GMB senior organiser for public service Keir Greenaway said: “The result reflects our members views and the realities of this offer. It is still below inflation for the vast majority of staff, who worked through the depths of the pandemic and are struggling in the grip of this cost-of-living crisis, and it doesn’t go far enough in itself to confront the understaffing crisis affecting frontline services either.

“The Scottish Government has contrasted its approach on trade union engagement with that of the UK Government, so we are now asking the Cabinet Secretary to practice what he preaches by meeting our members this side of Christmas to continue discussions over their value and the sustainability of their services.”

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They added that Yousaf must “take on board the views of all NHS staff and not just some”, arguing that frontline workers understand what needs to change to help recover struggling NHS services.

“The fact remains that GMB members in major services and health board areas have strong legal mandates for strikes and an imposition of this offer without further discussion would be seriously detrimental to the industrial relations the Scottish Government have been quick to promote,” Greenway went on.

“If the Cabinet Secretary wants to preserve those relations, he must meet our members urgently.”