Cops threaten to escalate industrial action over pay offer

POLICE Scotland’s pay row has intensified with rank and file officers threatening to escalate their industrial action next month. 

Yesterday, cops rejected a ‘derisory’ 3.4 per cent pay rise and told the top brass to come back with a better offer by August 5.

The row comes as the Home Office offered officers in England a 5% pay rise after accepting the recommendations from their independent police pay review body in full.

Calum Steele, the general secretary of the Scottish Police Federation, told the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland, that there was clearly a “different set of priorities” for ministers in Edinburgh. 

He said: “I believe that there is a recognition and England and Wales that the drop in police pay over the past decade and a half has had a significant impact on recruitment and retention. 

“It also underlines the UK government’s policy of trying to recruit an additional 20,000 police officers but, of course, at this time in Scotland, we’re actually going backwards in terms of police numbers and in terms of police investment. 

“So perhaps it represents a different set of priorities between the government in Scotland and the government in Westminster.”

Earlier this year, Finance Secretary Kate Forbes set out a four-year spending review, outlining a swathe of cuts intended to head off a projected £3.5 billion spending gap by 2026/27

The Resource Spending Review prioritised health and social security, education, and tackling climate change. Justice, however, will see an 8% cut. 

Police officers have legal limits on what industrial action they are allowed to take. They are not allowed to strike.

Mr Steele refused to say what that escalation could look like, but said his members had “many options.” 

Earlier this month, officers withdrew “all goodwill” which meant that, among other things, they refused to start their shifts early, do overtime unless ordered to, or take PPE or radio equipment home when their shift ends.

Mr Steele told the BBC that his next move would not “disrupt in any way, shape or form the service to the public.”

He said: “The fact that the NHS Dentists have been offered 4.5%, other NHS workers have been offered 5%.

“There’s a high probability that teachers are going to be balloted on industrial action, the fact that we’re not even at that starting point, is in itself a significant detriment to police officers.”

Police pay is negotiated through the Police Negotiating Board, which includes police officer staff associations, the Scottish Police Authority, Police Scotland, and the Scottish Government.

Mr Steele said he had spoken to ministers three weeks ago at a “testy” meeting. 

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “We are monitoring the situation in relation to the withdrawal of goodwill. We will put arrangements in place to ensure any impact on the public is kept to an absolute minimum.

“We recognise the considerable goodwill officers bring to their roles on a daily basis as they keep people safe across the country, and this is also valued by the communities they serve.

“We therefore remain committed, through the Police Negotiating Board, to seeking a settlement.”

Source link

Denial of responsibility! Planetcirculate is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.