Pay offer rejection by members in Scotland results in ballot on industrial action

CSP members working in the Scottish NHS have overwhelmingly rejected the Scottish government’s 5 per cent pay offer.    


CSP delegates at Annual Representatives Conference hold banners promoting a fair pay rise for NHS staff

Over 60 per cent of our members voted in a consultation. 90 per cent rejected the offer, with 80 per cent saying they were willing to take industrial action. 

An extraordinary meeting of the CSP Council agreed that the CSP should now move to an industrial action ballot in Scotland.   

Alex Mackenzie, CSP Chair of Council, said: ‘This offer is barely half the current rate of inflation, which is set to rise even higher in the coming months. 

‘Five per cent will not cover the increasing living costs for NHS staff. The harsh, simple fact is that people can no longer afford to work for the NHS; they will have no option but to leave at a time when staff retention has never been more vital.'  

NHS staff are dedicated to their patients, their colleagues and the work that they do; consideration of industrial action is always a last resort. A decision only ever taken with the greatest reluctance, the CSP has not held an industrial action ballot for more than a decade and has never held one on pay. Any action we take will of course ensure that critical to life support is protected. 

However, CSP members in Scotland have given an overwhelming sign that unless they are offered a pay rise that keeps pace with cost of living, they will consider industrial action. We would urge the Scottish Government to reopen NHS pay talks without delay – there is still time to avoid a damaging and demoralising dispute and offer NHS workers the pay rise they need and deserve.” 

The CSP is continuing to work with other health unions as we take this dispute forward.  Several other unions are also proceeding to formal ballots, whilst others are still concluding their internal processes. 

Action for members 


The CSP will now be finalising arrangements for the ballot which is likely to open in early September.  

Following the clear strength of feeling shown by members in the consultative ballot, we need an even higher proportion to have their say in the formal ballot. Recent trade union legislation requires not only more than 50 per cent of members to take part in a ballot but also that the proportion of those voting in favour of action is more than 40 per cent of all those eligible to vote.  

To ensure we can meet the complex legal requirements and that all those eligible receive their ballot paper, we are asking members to ensure the following is up to date in their CSP website account: 

  • Contact details 
  • Employer 
  • Workplace 
  • Postal Address 

How to update your profile

England, Wales and Northern Ireland 

CSP members working in England or Wales are currently being consulted on the pay award in those countries. No award has yet been made in Northern Ireland.

Find out more: NHS Scotland staff prepared to strike over pay - Chair of Council Alex MacKenzie talks to the BBC

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