Police officers set to take action over 'derisory' pay offer

Officers will not start their shifts early or take radio equipment home as part of plans to 'withdraw goodwill' over a blanket pay rise.

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Police officers across Scotland are set to kick off their largest wave of industrial action in more than a century in response to a “derisory” pay offer.

Members of the Scottish Police Federation (SPF) union will “withdraw goodwill” from 5pm on Friday in protest over a blanket £565 wage increase.

It means officers will not start their shifts early or take radio equipment home when their working day ends.

The union announced on Thursday that communication from the “official side” – made up of the Scottish Police Authority, Police Scotland and the Scottish government – had been received to allow negotiations to restart.

However, SPF general secretary Callum Steele said it would not prevent officers from displaying “significant discontent” by undertaking the action.

In a letter to chief constable Iain Livingstone, he wrote: “This action is a manifestation of the strength of feeling of our members of the utter contempt this pay offer represents to them.

“It is simply to demonstrate to our employers just how much discretionary effort, and free policing hours, they ordinarily take for granted.

“It will not be lost on you that this is the most significant discontent in the police service since the 1970s, and the most overt demonstration of action b>y our members in over 100 years.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson stressed that the force remained committed to seeking a settlement.

Officers are barred from striking and have legal limits on what industrial action they are allowed to take, but Steele said members would use every legal route available to them in order to make their voices heard.

A spokesperson for the force said: “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.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has urged those involved to “work together constructively” in order that a “fair and affordable pay increase can be agreed”.

Speaking at Holyrood on Thursday as part of First Minister’s Questions, she said recent talks between the two sides had been “constructive”.

She added: “Our police officers do deserve it and we will continue to value policing and give it the priority it deserves.”