SCOTLAND'S largest health union has recommended its members accept a record pay deal offered to NHS workers north of the border.

Nurses, midwives and paramedics are among those who will see their pay packets rise by an average of 6.5% on April 1 after the Scottish Government announced last week it would spend £568 million of taxpayers’ money on the wage rises.

On Tuesday, Unison became the latest union to recommend its members to accept the deal after its health committee endorsed the offer ahead of a member vote this week.

Committee chair Wilma Brown said: “After careful consideration, Unison’s health committee is recommending members accept this offer and that we get the pay into people’s pockets as soon as possible.”

READ MORE: Humza Yousaf: De facto referendum bid not 'out of the question'

But, Brown said, the “ongoing pressures created by the staffing crisis are at the forefront of our members’ minds and are fuelling their frustration” and added that the “fight around staffing levels and fair reward for hardworking NHS staff continues to be our priority”.

In the deal, announced by Health Secretary Humza Yousaf on Friday, workers on the Agenda for Change pay scale will see rises as well as a one-off payment of between £387 and £939 depending on what band they are on.

Yousaf, who is fighting to become the next leader of the SNP and first minister of Scotland, said if workers accepted it would mean they were “by far and away the best paid anywhere in the UK”.

Under the proposals, those on the lowest band, band one, will see their pay go up to £23,240 in 2023/24, an increase of 7.14%. They will win a one-off payment of £387.

Meanwhile, those on the highest part of band nine will see their pay go up by 3.33% next financial year.

Over the past two years, the lowest paid will have seen their pay packets go up by 19.26%, while the best paid will have seen it go up by just 5.4%.

The union’s 50,000 workers in the pay scale, which also includes domestics, managers and admin workers, will vote on the deal between Wednesday and Friday.

Unison’s move came after the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) recommended its members accepted the deal, which will raise the wages of 160,000 health workers.

Julie Lamberth, the union’s Scotland board chair, said on Friday the proposed pay rise would “make a positive difference”.

But the RCN warned ministers that if its members vote against the new deal, it will look to announce strike dates.

The union had rejected the pay offer made by the Scottish Government to NHS workers for 2022-23, but talks continued in the hope that a deal could be reached over pay for the coming financial year.

The Royal College of Midwives will also ask its members if the offer should be accepted.

The pay rise means paramedics in band six will earn over £4000 more than 2021/22, porters on band two more than £3750, and nurse practitioners more than £5,900 extra.

After the deal was announced, Yousaf said: “We have taken difficult decisions to find this money within the health budget because we know that our staff are the very backbone of the NHS and we are committed to supporting them, particularly during a cost of living crisis.”