Police 'very disappointed' by failure to agree 8.5% officer pay bump

Last year police officers 'withdrew goodwill' in their largest wave of industrial action in more than a century.

Scotland’s police ‘very disappointed’ by failure to agree 8.5% officer pay bump iStock

A pay rise for officers has not been agreed with the Scottish Government and Police Scotland.

The Scottish Police Federation, which represents officers of all ranks, had made what it called a “fair claim” for an increase of 8.5%.

However, following a meeting with the Police Negotiating Board, there was no agreement.

In a letter to officers, the federation’s general secretary David Kennedy said he was “very disappointed” and called for another meeting with the Government, the force and Scotland’s police watchdog to move forward.

The three bodies form the Official Side which negotiates pay for Scotland’s serving officers.

The letter states the pay claim was niether accepted nor rejected but no alternative was made and bosses asked for more time to consider what could be offered.

Police officers are unable to take industrial action or join a union to fight for improved pay and conditions.

But last year they “withdrew goodwill” and did not start their shifts early or take radio equipment home when their working day ends in their largest wave of industrial action in more than a century.

Officers eventually agreed a 5% wage uplift after months of talks.

In the letter, Mr Kennedy wrote: “The Official Side know well that police officers cannot take any form of industrial action. They have been watching other groups of workers achieve better pay rises and offers following strike action or the threat of strike action and this leaves them disappointed with last year’s award and concerned about their pay this year.”

The Federation said the claim of 8.5% would bring officers in line with the average paid to other public sector employees including teachers, nurses and fire fighters.

“I re-emphasised that the claim is not a started for negotiation but a fair and reasonable claim which seeks parity with rises already paid elsewhere,” Mr Kennedy said.

“I also understand the continuing and worsening cost of living crisis and the importance of an early resolution.

“I will be writing to the Police Negotiating Board to arrange the next meeting as soon as possible.”

A spokesperson for the Scottish Police Authority said: “Negotiations are ongoing and we, as part of the Official Side, remain committed to working with the Staff Side to seek to reach an agreement.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Discussions with relevant staff associations are continuing.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Policing is and will continue to be a priority for this government. We are grateful to our police officers and staff who provide a vital service every day to ensure we continue to have a safe, protected, and resilient Scotland.

“Police Officer pay has been negotiated for many years through the Police Negotiating Board (PNB). The PNB process is ongoing in relation to pay for 2023-24 and it is therefore not appropriate for us to comment as due process needs to be followed.”

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