#FMQs: NHS staff deserve real terms pay rise says Harvie

NHS staffing problems, highlighted in an Audit Scotland report, will be made worse if the Scottish Government does not commit to an above inflation pay rise says Patrick Harvie.

During First Minister’s Questions at Holyrood, the Green co-convener challenged Nicola Sturgeon to commit her government to the “basic principle” of an above inflation pay rise for public service workers, funded by a fairer model of taxation.

Harvie highlighted how NHS staff have seen their pay cut by 14% over recent years and that one senior SNP MSP declared support for an “above” inflation pay rise this week.

The Royal College of Nursing says a pay rise below inflation would in effect be a “pay cut”.

Glasgow MSP, Patrick Harvie said:

“There’s clearly no simple quick fix that would solve every problem in the NHS report, but it is clear that we’ll make problems like recruitment, retention and staff morale even worse if we don’t ensure a fair pay settlement, above inflation, to the dedicated professionals working in the NHS, who have seen their pay cut by 14% over the last five years.

“More and more people are backing the Green approach of fairer rates and bands of income tax to fund a pay rise for our public services and I’m pleased that at least one senior SNP MSP already agrees.

“The First Minister must back the basic principle that a pay rise for our public services is due and can be funded not from cuts elsewhere, but from fairer taxation that protects low earners. Public sector workers play a vital role in our communities, from nursing and social care staff to teachers and police officers. The real-terms pay cuts they've endured must end if we're to tackle inequality, support recruitment and retention of staff, and help build a fairer and healthier economy.”