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Nurses protest at SNP conference as Humza Yousaf warned over strike action

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Angry nurses have warned the Scottish Government that more people will continue to leave the profession unless they are offered a fair pay rise.Dozens of members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) held a protest outside the SNP conference in Aberdeen where they spoke briefly with Humza Yousaf.The RCN is balloting for strike action in Scotland after rejecting a pay offer of five per cent.Yousaf told nurses gathered outside the conference hall that he would be meeting with RCN leaders next week to offer a new pay deal.Zoe James, a mental health nurse from Aberdeen, was among those to speak to the health secretary.She told the Record: "We have been undervalued and underpaid - whether that is pay freezes or below inflation wage rises for 12 years."It has got to the stage where I can't afford to live on my salary any longer."I'm 24 years qualified.

I've got a degree. I'm qualified in various therapies."And I'm stuck. Our pay scales to do not reflect our skills and expertise."We are expected to take on more and more responsibilities.

We are doing many roles that were traditionally considered medical staff roles."There is a decrease in people entering the profession.

I know many newly qualified people who have chosen to take on other roles, like occupational health therapy."They're not staying in the profession.

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