A trade union has said NHS staff deserve extra pay to recognise their struggles through the coronavirus outbreak.
Unison will be submitting a claim to the Scottish Government to acknowledge the financial and emotional costs suffered by health workers so far during the Covid-19 crisis.
This is for 1% or £500, whatever is highest, for all staff and is on top of any annual pay increase for NHS staff.
Willie Duffy, Unison Scotland’s head of health, said: “This is a very difficult time for so many across Scotland, not least our dedicated NHS staff who quite rightly have received the highest praise from the public.
“However, the reality is that our NHS staff have incurred extra costs with laundry, travel, subsistence and other costs over this period.
“And health service workers received the lowest public-sector pay award over the last few years.
“It is important that we recognise this and we are calling on the Scottish Government to support them financially to help them get through this very difficult time.”
The union has pointed to several extra financial costs incurred by staff during the pandemic.
These include sometimes having to buy extra PPE, more cleaning of their clothes and materials, buying hand sanitiser, isolating from their family, doing extra hours and additional travel costs while public transport is restricted.
It also wants the Scottish Government to recognise the “emotional toll” working during the outbreak is having.
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “The Covid-19 pandemic is having an unprecedented impact and we salute and are hugely grateful for the extraordinary hard work, dedication, skill and commitment of all those working across Scotland’s health and social care sectors during this emergency.
“We’re committed to the fairest possible salary settlements for all staff, and have regular engagement with staff side, where all issues related to NHS staff terms and conditions can be discussed.
“We continue to take steps to support our staff at this time including by ensuring they have full access to enhanced overtime pay and that all staff working for NHS Scotland who are sick due to Covid-19, irrespective of their length of service, will receive sick leave on full pay until they have recovered from their illness for as long as they are contracted to NHS Scotland.
“In addition, we have also stepped in to ensure parking charges for staff are suspended for the next three months at the Scottish PFI hospitals where parking fees were still in place.”