Welcome to the new UNISON Scottish Health Care Website. Hopefully you will find this a useful resource as a UNISON member. The site is work in progress and new items will be added on a regular basis. Please feel free to use the contact form on the site to feedback any comments or suggestions you may have for items you may wish to be included in the future.


Pay up now!

Following the success of the Scrap The Cap March/Rally held in Edinburgh on October 7th, the next stage of the pay campaign will be a Xmas Card Campaign. The campaign heading has now changed to “Pay Up Now”


The primary objective is to:

  • Increase member awareness of the claim.
  • Lobby constituency MSP’s on the issue of NHS pay.
  • Raise public awareness of the UNISON pay claim.


The campaign will run through Nov and early December and culminate in a press and media stunt before Parliamentary recess.

This campaign is far from over and we need to send a clear message to politicians that UNISON can muster significant support over NHS pay. We want to target constituency MSP’s because that’s the easiest way for us to organise the campaign.

We have over 60,000 members in the NHS. Lets deliver 60,000 cards or as near that as possible in the 5 week campaign.


Very soon, you will receive at your home address, 1 of these cards with a return SAE that we are urging all members to sign and include your home address and postcode, not workplace address. These will then be divided up into all the various MSP constituencies for delivery to each MSP.


Your local branch stewards will also have a number of cards for issuing to members, and therefore you may receive 2? Please don’t just discard the extra 1 as this can be completed by a family member, or a work colleague who is not a UNISON member. The more completed cards the better.


Kind regards


Tam Hiddleston

Branch Secretary


Scottish Health Care Branch






UNISON submits its pay claim to The Scottish Government on behalf of health workers.


UNISON submit NHS pay claim to roll back austerity

UNISON Scotland, will formally submit their 2018 pay claim to Shona Robison Cabinet Secretary for Health and Well Being today (Monday) at 9am, when she attends NHS Tayside Health Board's annual review.

UNISON represents 60,000 NHS workers across Scotland (excludes medics and dentists) including managers, domestics, nurses and admin workers.

The UNISON claim calls on the Scottish government to deliver their commitment to scrap the 1% pay cap for health workers and calls on them to match the retail price index or 3.9% with an additional £800 for all staff to restore some of the earnings lost due to a decade of austerity.

The pay claim letter states: "Last year we warned that health staff are unlikely to put up with the NHS Review Body being bound by a 1% pay cap for future rounds. Yet just six months away from our April 2018 review date it is still not clear whether the Review Body will be allowed free rein to make recommendations for 2018-19 which start to address the mounting morale issues and staffing shortages.

Nor is it clear whether central funding will be made available to fund the level of pay rise that is needed for all NHS staff. Without a commitment on funding, the Pay Review Body will be rightly concerned that any pay rise it recommends can only be delivered through cuts at organisational or country level."

Tom Waterson, chair of the UNISON Scotland health committee said: “On 7 October 5000 UNISON members marched through Edinburgh demanding an end to austerity pay deals. Today UNISON build on that show of feeling, by lodging a formal pay claim on behalf of all NHS workers.

“UNISON members across the NHS have welcomed the Scottish government’s commitment to scrap the 1% pay cap, this claim seeks to redress the unfairness and inequality imposed on our members in the name of austerity.

“This UNISON pay claim is fair and reasonable. It exposes the weakness of the so called independent Pay Review Body who have provided political cover for Scottish and UK governments as they have systematically taken money out of the pockets of hard working dedicated NHS workers.”

Matt McLaughlin, UNISON Scotland's head of health, said: “It's time for the government to pay up now. Shona Robison has an opportunity to send a clear message of thanks to all NHS workers in the pay round ahead. She can deliver a Scottish pay deal for the NHS that begins to roll back austerity, rewards loyalty and deliver a pay deal which is fair for all in the NHS.”






Scottish Health Care Stewards, Branch members and their Families take part in the Scrap the Cap March/Rally in Edinburgh.


Scrap the cap

You may be aware that UNISON have been campaigning on the matter of Pay, and there have been a
few “Scrap the Cap” initiatives happening across UNISON Health Branches in Scotland.

At UNISON Scottish Health Committee held on Thursday August 24th, it was agreed that the next
main event around this campaign, will be a demonstration/rally down the Royal Mile in Edinburgh on
Saturday October 7th. March starting at 12 Noon. An application to the Police and Local Authority
has been made to allow us to organise this event, and we are not expecting any challenge back.
Therefore, we have to start organising now. To date, it has mainly been branch stewards/activists
who have been taking part in some small demonstrations/presence, but the message from Health
Committee was clear last week;

It’s your pay; it’s your demo – let’s be heard!

We are, quite correctly, asked continuously from members, what are UNISON going to do about the
miserable 1% pay rises, recommended year on year from the Pay Review Body, following a lengthy
pay freeze? As your Union, we will, and have, raised this matter with Scottish Government, and as
stated before, have taken part in several small publicity initiatives, to have this matter aired in the
wider public arena.

However, without a clear message going out from the wider membership that this is in fact a serious
matter to you as a member, then the chances we have on building a successful campaign around pay
would be minimal. There would be little benefit in moving towards any form of membership ballot on
forms of Industrial Action around pay, if the wider membership are viewed as not caring about the
implications of continued disgustingly low pay awards!

If you care about your pay – Get involved

This is your opportunity to make your voice heard, and take active part in the campaign as it moves
forward. As your UNISON branch, we will coordinate the organising of branch activity on the day.
This may also mean laying on Transport for those who live outside the Edinburgh area. It is hoped
that Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh can be booked out for the day by UNISON, with events for children
to take place. Therefore, it is an afternoon to bring along family members and children.

Your local steward should shortly be arranging members meetings to advise more on these plans,
and to gauge interest and collect names of those wishing to take part on the day.


Alternativley, if you want to indicate back to the branch direct, then please merely e-mail the branch at
shcb@btconnect.com or leave a message on the branch phone on 0131 220 6903

More details will follow as soon as any updates are known.

Tam Hiddleston
UNISON Scottish Health Care
Branch Secretary


UNISON members getting behind the Scrap the Cap Campaign at a Scottish Health Care Branch Recruitment Day


UNISON launch campaign to scrap the 1% pay rise cap on NHS workers

NHS union UNISON have launched a summer of campaign activity calling on the Scottish government to 'scrap the cap' on NHS pay, which will include UNISON members lobbying Scottish government ministers on pay as they carry out their annual round of NHS board reviews.

UNISON represents almost 60,000 workers across NHS Scotland and have been extremely critical of government and the Independent Pay Review Body after a series of below inflation pay rises were awarded to NHS workers across the UK.


Tom Waterson, chair of UNISON Scotland's health committee said, “We cannot have another year where the UK Governments infatuation with austerity leads to another real terms cut in the pay of NHS workers. In recent months we’ve seen time and time again politicians praise the work of our loyal and dedicated NHS workforce but refuse to deliver a fair deal on pay.”


UNISON welcome the Scottish government’s recognition that the pay cap is hurting NHS workers.


However Tom Waterson said, “UNISON members welcome the recognition that the pay cap cannot continue. It is now time for that recognition to be turned into positive action. UNISON branches and members across Scotland will be using the next few months to secure Scottish pay bargaining and a fair deal for NHS workers.”


UNISON has welcomed the offer from the Scottish government to enter into separate pay bargaining in Scotland.


Tom Waterson said, “The Pay Review Body lost any pretence of independence when it awarded a below inflation 1% pay rise to NHS workers. The Scottish government’s suggestion that we dump the Pay Review Body and deal with pay in Scotland by negotiation is supported by UNISON and we will be using our influence to secure a conclusion which sees the Pay Review Body consigned to the bin as we campaign to ‘Scrap the Cap’.”


The union’s summer campaign will coincide with the annual review process which takes place in all NHS Scotland health boards. UNISON vows to be seen and heard at each and every event.


Matt McLaughlin, UNISON’s head of health for Scotland said, “UNISON is the only union in the NHS with the grass roots organisation and resources to organise and sustain a campaign like this. Across Scotland, UNISON activists and members will be seen and heard as we demand that the government ‘scrap the cap’”


UNISON Contacts

Matt McLaughlin, head of health, 07904 341979

Danny Phillips, communications officer,  07944 664110



  1. UNISON is the UK biggest trade union in the NHS
  2. Further details of UNISON campaign can be found at http://www.unison-scotland.org/service-groups-and-sectors/health
  3. Pay losses:
  • Band 2 - annual loss - 8.9% or 1,802
  • Band 4 - annual loss - 14.1% or £3736
  • Band 5 - annual loss - 13.9% or £4625
  • Band 6 - annual loss - 14.1% or  £5222


  • UNISON are taking Scrap the Cap campaign around Scotland
  • 3 July NHS Ayrshire and Arran
  • 6 July NHS Fife
  • 20 July NHS Border for Pay Review Board evidence gathering session
  • 21 August NHS Shetland
  • 31 August NHS Highland
  • 8 September NHS Lanarkshire 
  • 29 September NHS Lothian
  • 2 October NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
  • 16 October NHS Tayside



Tam Hiddleston 

Branch Secretary 


Scottish Health Care Branch



Scotland’s health workers are calling on the NHS Pay Review Body (PRB) to ‘scrap the cap’ imposed on NHS staff. 

In an open letter sent to the PRB today (Thursday), UNISON expressed the anger and disappointment of NHS staff at its recommendation to continue with a one per cent cap on wages. This is the fourth consecutive year that the PRB have imposed real terms pay cuts upon dedicated, hardworking NHS staff and their families.

Matt McLaughlin, UNISON Scotland’s head of health, said: “UNISON is Scotland’s largest health union and we see firsthand the impact of the pay cap on health staff.  NHS staff have suffered a pay cap for the past four years and in that time have seen their take-home pay fall by a massive 14 per cent.  

“The sad reality is that hospitals will struggle to keep skilled workers unless they’re rewarded with decent pay and it’s patients who will suffer as a result. Our NHS depends on having a dedicated team of staff with the right training to deliver the best standard of care.”

UNISON has criticised the PRB  for choosing to endorse the Westminster Government’s austerity agenda. The union is calling for a firm commitment from the PRB to deliver fair pay for NHS staff and not to be bound by the government-imposed pay cap.

UNISON members and activists will meet at the Scottish Parliament to ‘Smash the Pay Freeze’ with a giant ice sculpture and will invite Shona Robison MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport to join them. 

Tam Waterson, chair of UNISON Scotland’s health committee, said: “UNISON will continue to call for the NHS pay review ‎to scrap the cap on pay for all NHS workers. Our members are at breaking point; whether it’s our low-paid members working extra jobs or our professional members relying on bank work as the gap grows between take home pay and household costs.

“Hard-working, dedicated NHS workers tell us time and again how they love working in the health service but are struggling to make ends meet – no matter how hard they work. It’s time to smash the pay freeze.”



The UNISON AGM period is almost upon us once again. Branch aggregate AGM's will be held during the month of March. A list of these are advised at end of this message. For members who have up to date current postal address registered with us, you  will shortly receive by post, a copy of the Branch Annual Report and information regards Branch Stewards & Officers nomination process.

 These AGM's are an opportunity for you to find out about work the branch has been involved in on your behalf over the past 12 months. We will also update on the most up to date position that we will be aware of at the time, on the Scottish Governments plans for the future of the health boards in Scotland. There is a proposed new Public Health Body that is likely to have impact on some employer areas where our branch has membership.

 There is always time during the meeting for questions to be raised from a local or national perspective that you may wish to ask. It is at these meetings where we ratify our Branch Stewards & Officers for the next 12 months. There may also be Branch Officer elections that need to be carried out.

 As a member, you are entitled to attend any of these meetings. It does not need to be your particular work area meeting, if dates/times dont suit.

 Please note that for our Gyle Square based members, we have had to arrange 3 x 1 hour meetings this year instead of the    normal 2 x 1hr.15min. This is due to the board room availability, and only having 1 of these, instead of the usual 2 and 

 possible capacity issues.

 Please try to attend 1 of the many meetings arranged below.


 Tam Hiddleston UNISON Scottish Health Care Branch Secretary

  Wednesday 1st March       Atheneum, Glasgow             11am


  Thursday     2nd March     Bain Square, Livingston       11am


  Thursday     9th March      Canderside Larkhall             1pm-2pm, 2pm-3pm, 10pm-11pm


  Monday       13th March     Gyle Square                        10:45am - 11:45am, 12pm-1pm, 1.15pm-2.15pm


  Monday       13th March     Westport, Edinburgh            2.30pm


  Wednesday 22nd March     Bridgeview Aberdeen           11am


  Wednesday 29th March      Meridian Court Glasgow       10.45am


  Thursday     30th March      Belford Rd Edinburgh          6pm



The Tax Refund Company


There have been several enquiries into our branch recently regarding members being contacted by the Tax Refund Company, enquiring if they wish to have their tax code reviewed with the possibility of getting a refund? Our branch has been contacted by members asking for clarity around this company?
The Tax Refund company is no longer endorsed by UNISON and the likelihood is you have been in contact with this company previously and they will have your e mail logged on their system. If you no longer wish to be contacted by this company, then you should unsubscribe to them contacting you.



Dear Branch Member


The branch will very soon be sending out by mail to your home address, a copy of the new branch newsletter. Very early in 2017 there will also be a direct mailing of the 2016/17 Branch Annual report.

We invariably receive back a high volume of mail as undeliverable. It is therefore imperative that your home address details registered on the UNISON membership system are fully up to date.


This is also highly important due to the legal position in the event of any industrial ballots being called in the future, that UNISON hold your current address details. Please take a couple of minutes to review the details UNISON hold for you are correct. You will require your UNISON membership number or National Insurance number.




21/04/2016 - The Anti Trade Union Bill


Good news in the campaign to defeat the Anti Trade Union Bill


The government have withdrawn plans to ban public service workers from having their union subs deducted from pay.

More news on this in the news section of this site.

01/04/2016: Branch Secretary Election Result:


Following the end of our branch AGM process, the result of the election that took place for the role of Branch Secretary was as follows:


Tam Hiddleston - 141 votes


Viv Thomson - 35 votes


Therefore Tam Hiddleston will continue as Branch Secretary


Ian Cant

Branch Chair

17/03/2016: Please see the news section for some good news on the Anti Trade Union Bill

10/03/2016: European Referendum - Please see the News section of this site for information regards a branch consultation on the EU Referendum.

26/02/2016; Please see information below on location, dates and times for the branch Annual General Meeting’s taking place during the month of March. Specific meeting rooms will be advertised in your workplace.

All members are encouraged to attend at least 1 of these meetings.


Election for the post of Branch Secretary will be carried out at each meeting where a private ballot will take place.


BRIDGEVIEW ABERDEEN               09/03/16             11.15

BAIN SQUARE LIVINGSTON           10/03/16             10.00

MERIDIAN COURT GLASGOW       14/03/16             11.00

NES WESTPORT EDINBURGH        14/03/16             14.30

ATHENEUM GLASGOW                  22/03/16             10.45

CANDERSIDE LARKHALL                 24/03/16             13.00


                                                                                          22.00 (Night Shift)

GYLE SQUARE EDINBURGH           29/03/16             10.15


60 BELFORD ROAD EDINBURGH  31/03/16             18.00    



UNISON PRIZE DRAW FOR ALL MEMBERS: Please see information in the news section of this website for further information regards a substantial prize draw for all UNISON members

27/01/2016: UNISON AGM period is nearly upon us. Please find all the latest information on dates etc, plus a copy of the 2015/16 Branch Annual Report in the "News" section of this site.