An above inflation pay award for Scotland’s six assistant chief constables has taken their pay to £115,000 a year.
The increase, which amounts to about £10,000 based on previous pay bands, caused some “angst” among lower-ranking staff, but is widely accepted in the force as reflecting the increased workload.
Bonuses have been scrapped and the overall pay bill has been halved to £2 million.
The increase comes after rank-and-file officers accepted a 1 per cent rise in common with other public servants.
Brian Docherty, chairman of the Scottish Police Federation, which represents officers from cadets to chief inspectors, said: “I know it seems a lot of money but I guess we have to bear in mind we’re now the second largest force in the UK.
“It’s caused a bit of angst among those on the voluntary redundancy scheme because it’ll be seen as cutbacks when pay awards are being made.”
Before the single force was created, assistant chief constables could earn between about £91,000 and £106,000.
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “A decision was made at the Police Negotiating Board, and subsequently approved by ministers, to remove bonus payments for assistant chief constables and sliding pay scales, and introduce a single salary for £115,000.
“This has now reduced the total costs of the senior officer team by half to £2 million.
“Senior officers in Police Scotland have significantly higher profile and greater responsibilities in a single service which covers the whole of Scotland.
“Reform and a single service are safeguarding policing from Westminster budget cuts and reducing duplication which was built into the previous structure with 10 police organisations.”
The six officers cover specialist roles for the whole country, including major crime and counter-terrorism.
Chief Superintendent David O’Connor, president of the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents, said chief officer numbers have fallen by 60 per cent at Police Scotland.
“The jobs left in Police Scotland have increased in scale and responsibility,” he said.