Police in Scotland consider industrial action after pay deal rejected

There are warnings of a 'palpable anger' across the workforce.

Police in Scotland consider industrial action after pay deal rejected iStock

Police in Scotland could be set to take industrial action after an annual pay increase of £565 was rejected.

The deal was knocked back by the organisation which represents officers in Scotland, the Scottish Police Federation (SPF).

Calum Steele, the SPF’s general secretary, has warned of a “palpable anger” across the workforce.

And he described the offer made to officers as “derisory”.

The SPF has asked for a 3.4% rise in pay, with negotiations between the Scottish Police Authority, Police Scotland and Scottish Government ministers being handled by the Police Negotiating Board.

In an interview with BBC Scotland on Sunday, Steele indicated that the goodwill of officers in running to service is “undoubtedly disappearing”.

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“There is palpable anger across our workforce. The options they we are looking at are wide and they are varied,” he told the BBC.

“They will be impactful and be in no doubt that the willingness of the police service to simply stand back and accept this derisory offer at a time that other bodies and other workers will be taking much more action than we are capable of doing – the notion that we are going to accept that and stay silent is simply a fantasy.”

Steele continued: “There are many options that are available to us. We’re looking strongly at all of them.

“The goodwill that this police service runs on is undoubtedly disappearing faster than snow off the proverbial dyke.”

A Scottish government spokesperson said that negotiations over pay are “ongoing”.

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Scottish Conservative Shadow Justice Secretary Jamie Greene MSP, said:These stark and unprecedented remarks from the Police Federation demonstrate how angry they are at SNP Ministers and their attitude towards frontline officers. 

“We know justice is no longer a priority for the SNP Government, and that has disgracefully been confirmed by the pay offer currently on the table.

“It should never have reached a situation where rank and file officers have been pushed this far, to the point of threatening disruptive action, considering they cannot officially go on strike.

“Police officers are already at their lowest number since 2008 on the SNP’s watch and industrial action of any sort will clearly have an impact on keeping our communities safe and cause worry amongst the public. 

“Every effort must be made to avoid this sort of action taking place and Ministers cannot continue to ignore how officers feel they are not on their side.

“The Scottish Conservatives rallied for a solid policing budget to ensure our officers are in fit for purpose buildings and cars and it all fell on deaf ears, perhaps SNP ministers will listen to frontline officers instead.”

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