Scottish Budget: Nursing union calls for SNP Government for tackle crisis in workforce
15.12.2022 - 08:05
A leading health union is calling on the Scottish Government to tackle the current crisis in the nursing workforce ahead of the Budget later today.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) wants John Swinney to implement fair pay for staff across the health and social care sector and grow the domestic nursing workforce.
The interim finance secretary will deliver the Budget later today where he is expected to make a number of announcements around tax rises and spending cuts.
Earlier this week members of Unite and Unison voted to accept an improved pay offer from the government while members of the RCN, GMB and Chartered Society of Physiotherapy put strikes on hold while they vote on the deal.
In November, the government tabled an offer of 7.5 per cent which would see most NHS staff in Scotland get a rise of more than £2,200 per year.
Colin Poolman, director of RCN Scotland, called for more action to fix the vacancy crisis in the health service.
He said: "We’ve all seen the damning reports of how difficult things are in our health and care services – long delays, staff shortages, services at capacity.
"This is a daily reality for our members and those they're caring for. Last week, statistics showing continued high levels of vacancies and a fall in students being accepted onto nursing courses, underlined just how much pressure is on nursing staff.
"It’s clear that whatever the Scottish government’s plans are for the nursing workforce they're not working. All this is why our members gave us an overwhelming mandate for strike action. They have had enough and are prepared to make a stand for their patients and their profession."
The RCN has set out four priorities it wants the government to focus on in the Budget.
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