The union Unison has suspended its strike ballot of nurses in Scotland and will now consult its members on a new pay deal offered to NHS staff in the country.
The move follows the fresh pay offer put forward by the Scottish Government last week which would see NHS nurses and colleagues receive a £2,205 uplift.
The flat rate pay offer was made after negotiators from Unison and other health unions met with Scottish Government representatives last Thursday.
According the government, registered nurses would receive a pay rise equal to 8.45%, while those in the lowest paid roles in the NHS would see an increase of more than 11%.
Previously, the government had offered a 5% uplift for NHS nurses.
The decision to further consult its members was made by the Unison Scotland health committee yesterday afternoon.
The union said it will ask members if they are willing to accept the latest pay offer in a consultative digital ballot which will launch early next week.
Wilma Brown, chair of the health committee, said: “After our meeting [on Wednesday] afternoon Unison has agreed to suspend its NHS strike ballot so we can consult NHS members over the Scottish Government £2,205 pay offer to all NHS staff.
As this is the final pay offer from the Scottish Government and is also “significantly different” from the previous offers, Ms Brown said the union thinks it is right that NHS members decide whether they are willing to accept it.
“Unison is a member led union, so members will decide,” she said.
She added: “NHS staff are working through two crises: an NHS crisis and a cost-of-living crisis.
“This offer will go some way to helping them with the latter but we have a huge amount of work to do to get our NHS to be world class again, irrespective of the outcome of this consultation, the Scottish Government need to see this as the beginning of a journey back to full health for the NHS.”
This decision in Scotland comes at the same time that the union launches its industrial action ballot in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Other unions, including the Royal College of Nursing and Royal College of Midwives, have also been balloting their members across the UK on taking strike action over pay.
Scotland’s health secretary Humza Yousaf said: “I welcome Unison’s health committee’s decision on our record pay offer. Of course, members need to have their say on this, and we are keen to ensure that staff see the benefit of their pay rise as soon as possible.
“These are uncertain times, and it is no secret that public finances are stretched to the limit, so I hope members will seriously consider this offer.
“This is the biggest pay offer since devolution and the money will go some way to help with the cost of living crisis this winter. For the lowest paid, this is an 11% above-inflation pay rise, and it will ensure our nurses and other Agenda for Change staff remain the best paid in the UK.”