Frequently asked questions

1.    How do I find out how this would affect me?

Use the pay calculator on this website. All you need to do is put in your current pay band and pay point and you will be able to see exactly what would happen to your basic pay over the three years.

You must keep in mind that the calculator only looks at basic pay and cannot consider any allowances you normally receive. 

2.    Are the trade unions consulting on this deal?

Yes. Contact your own trade union for further information on this.

3.    If we don’t accept this deal, what’s the alternative?

If the outcome of member consultations is for the unions to reject the deal, then the trade unions would have to reconsider their position and explore options. 

4.    What happens if inflation rises in the latter part of the deal?

We all know that these are very uncertain times for the economy, not least because the effects of EU exit are not yet known.

The trade unions insisted on a clause in the English agreement confirming that the NHS Pay Review Body will monitor implementation of the agreement and that parties will be able to go to the PRB with concerns about how it is panning out in practice. This means that if the economic situation changes significantly the trade unions will be able to make a case to the PRB for additional pay awards to ensure that NHS pay doesn’t start falling behind again.

In addition, the draft agreement for Scotland says - for the period of the agreement STAC (Scottish Terms and Conditions committee) will monitor its progress and effectiveness against the Framework and associated Terms of Reference and raise any specific area of concern with Scottish Government.

5.    How can I be sure I won’t lose out because of my particular individual circumstances?

Throughout the negotiations, the trade unions have sought to cover every eventuality. In the unlikely event that a combination of special circumstances would mean an individual was to lose out, the trade unions secured a ‘no detriment’ clause which would protect any such individuals.

Use the pay calculator to see what the pay proposals mean for you.

6. Our pay rise was due from April 2018, will it be backdated?

Yes, the agreement would be effective from 1 April 2018 and increases would be backdated to this date.

7. In July we will get the Scottish government’s payment on account in our salary.  How is this different from year one of the deal? 

The payment on account was a flat 3% increase on salaries up to £80,000 but year one of the deal includes some reform to the pay scales.  This will mean that for some staff they will see further increases if the proposal is accepted.  Staff who are due any increases as a result of the deal above the payment on account will receive that and it will be backdated. 

8. Why is my colleague getting a much bigger increase than me when we are on the same band?

Individual pay awards vary because they are made up of differing mixtures of annual pay awards, incremental pay progression and improvements to the pay structure. Staff at the top of their pay bands are already benefiting from the full rate for the job they do. Unions have long heard from our members how unfair it is that some of the current pay bands contain so many pay points meaning that it can take six, seven or eight years to reach the full rate for the job.

We are also concerned that the overlaps between pay bands are both unfair, and risky from an equal pay point of view. This is because they mean that staff doing a job that evaluates higher can, for a period, get paid the same or less than someone in a job that evaluates lower.

In the pay negotiations we were determined to make the reforms needed to put this right. The proposals give greater increases over the three years to those staff at or near the bottom of the pay bands. This arises from deleting pay points from the bands and merging points upwards, at the same time as individuals may be moving up an increment. This is complicated and means that the proposed pay deal would mean different things for different people, but we believe it is worth it in order to create a fairer system for the future. 

9. How does pay progression work during the three years of the deal?

Because there is significant structural reform proposed to the pay structures over the three years, numerous pay points are being removed. These pay points will be removed in April 2018, April 2019, and April 2020. Staff who are already on a pay point at the time it is to be removed will be immediately moved to the next available point, even where this does not coincide with their existing incremental date. These staff will not receive an increase on their incremental date, because they will have received their pay increase early.

Staff will retain their existing incremental date throughout transition.

To see how this affects you look at Annexe D of the agreement (PDF).

10. How will pay progression work in the new structure?

One of the key elements of the new structure is that there is quicker progression to the top of the band, as explained in the table below.

Band Existing New
 Band 2 & 3  6 years  2 years
 Band 4  6 years  3 years
 Band 5  7 years  4 years
Band 6 & 7   8 years 5 years 

No change for staff in Bands 8&9.

Because of this there will no longer be annual increments, instead your journey will be as shown in annexe B of the proposal (PDF).

·      Band 1 has only a spot rate for the job and no increments.

·      Band 2 and 3 you would stay on the entry point for two years and on the start of your third year progress to the top point.

·      Band 4 you would stay on the entry point for three years and on the start of your fourth year progress to the top point. 

·      Band 5 has three points.  You will stay on the entry point for two years and on the start of your third year progress to the intermediate point where you stay for two years and on the start of your fifth year progress to the top point.

·      Band 6 and 7 have three points.  You will stay on the entry point for two years and at the start of your third year progress to the intermediate point where you stay for three years progressing to the top point at the start of your sixth year.

·      Bands 8 and 9 only have two points but you will stay on the entry point for five years progressing onto the top point at the start of your sixth year in post.

11. The framework agreement includes further negotiation on four areas – policy on the management of sickness absence; organisational change and protection of earnings; utilisation and application of TOIL and appraisal and incremental progression. What will happen following discussions on these?

The trade unions have nominated individuals to negotiate with Scottish Government and NHS employers on these four areas. There will be continued updates through STAC (Scottish Terms and Conditions committee) and with members. All final proposals will be communicated to members.

12. The framework agreement says that there will be reform on the policy on the management of sickness absence.  Does that mean they will be looking at reducing the money I receive when I am off sick?

Current NHS Scotland sick pay arrangements will be retained.