National Health Service Employees (Agenda for Change)

Part of Health and Wellbeing – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:15 pm on 28 June 2007.

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Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party 2:15, 28 June 2007

I undertake to write to Roseanna Cunningham about the specifics of her question, but I will explain some more of the background to the current arrangements.

Agenda for change was negotiated under the previous Administration, but during the development of the arrangements it was recognised that for a small proportion of staff—currently 4.5 per cent in Scotland—agenda for change pay would be less than their previous pay. Although a position of complete no detriment was not achievable, there was consensus that it would be unfair for staff to receive a reduction in salary. It was therefore agreed, in partnership with the trade unions, that staff in such a position would receive pay protection.

Pay protection applies in the other United Kingdom health services for a maximum of five years, but in Scotland it will remain in place for as long as individual staff require it. That means that no member of staff in the NHS in Scotland will suffer a cut in salary as a result of the implementation of agenda for change. Pay protection will be applied to any individuals who have been affected until such time as their pay under agenda for change overtakes their protected pay, at which point they will begin to receive annual pay uplifts.