Scottish police officers to 'withdraw goodwill' in dispute over pay

A union warned of the 'most significant discontent in the police service since the 1970s'.

Scottish Police Federation say officers to ‘withdraw goodwill’ following ‘derisory’ pay offer iStock
Dispute: Officers will not commence shifts early and will conclude tours of duty at rostered times.

Police in Scotland are to make a formal withdrawal of goodwill in a dispute over pay.

It means that officers will not commence their shifts early and will conclude their tours of duty at rostered times, unless expressly directed or authorised to the contrary.

They will also not take any ancillary items of police equipment, such as airwave radios or personal data appliances home with them when they finish work.

The withdrawal of goodwill will apply to all policing activity until further notice.

The announcement was made by the Scottish Police Federation (SPF) on Wednesday.

It is in response to a “derisory” pay offer made to members of the union last month.

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The action will take effect from 5pm on Friday, July 1, the union has stated.

Under the law, police officers are prohibited from taking industrial action or withdrawing labour.

Police Scotland chief constable Iain Livingstone was notified of the action being taken in a letter sent by SPF general secretary Calum Steele.

In his letter, he indicated that the union would “remain open to meaningful dialogue” on fair pay proposals.

And he underlined the significance of the decision made by the Joint Central Committee (JCC) of the SPF.

“I need to be clear that the formal withdrawal of goodwill is not an action the JCC has endorsed lightly,” he wrote.

“It is nonetheless a manifestation of the strength of feeling of our members of the utter contempt this pay offer represents to them.

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“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 by our members in over 100 years.”

He added: “The SPF has consistently demonstrated a willingness to negotiate a fair pay settlement for our members and remain open to meaningful dialogue on fair pay proposals now.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson 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.

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

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Police Officer pay has been negotiated for many years through the Police Negotiating Board (PNB), which includes Police Officer Staff Associations, the Scottish Police Authority, Police Scotland, and the Scottish Government.

“The PNB process is ongoing in relation to pay for 2022/23, and we await the outcome of those discussions.”