Officers should not have to 'constantly argue' for fair pay, says Scottish police body

Police officers should “not be in a position” where they have to “constantly fight and argue” for a pay settlement that is fair, the general secretary of the Scottish Police Federation (SPF) has said.

Calum Steele said police were “not even at the starting point” in pay negotiations, which saw the federation unanimously reject a 3.4 per cent increase as “derisory”.

Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme, Mr Steele said: “The fact that the NHS dentists have been offered 4.5 per cent, other NHS workers have been offered 5 per cent. There’s a high probability that teachers are going to be balloted on industrial action. The fact that we’re not even at that starting point, is in itself a significant detriment to police officers.”

Police Scotland operates on officers providing “hundreds” of hours of good will every day, said Mr Steele.

The Scottish Police Federation has been unimpressed with the 'derisory' pay offer for officers. Picture: John Devlin

When asked what methods the federation would put in place to secure a better deal, Mr Steele refused to say what these would be, arguing it would be “foolhardy” for an organisation involved with an industrial dispute to “lay out to the other side what it is that they intend to do”.

However, he said: “Anything we will do is not intended to disrupt in any way, shape or form the service to the public.”

The organisation represents rank-and-file police officers in Scotland and warned earlier this week it would escalate action in its pay dispute if it does not receive a better offer by August 5.

Police officers cannot strike, but the 17,500 members of the SPF withdrew “all good will” after a “derisory and insulting” pay offer of £565, which “must have been known to be so prior to being presented”.

It has meant since the start of this month rank-and-file officers have, among other things, refused to start shifts early or take radio equipment home when their shift ends.

The warning from the federation on Wednesday could mean that next month officers could go further in these actions.

Police pay is negotiated through the Police Negotiating Board, which includes police officer staff associations, the Scottish Police Authority, Police Scotland, and the Scottish Government.

In the latest deal rejected by the federation, all pay points for all ranks would see their salaries rise by 3.4 per cent, backdated to April 1.

On Tuesday, officers south of the border were offered a 5 per cent pay rise after the Home Office said it accepted recommendations from the independent police pay review body in full.

Mr Steele said the pay deal agreed by home secretary Priti Patel was “highly significant” in the ongoing dispute.

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “We are monitoring the situation in relation to the withdrawal of good will. We will put arrangements in place to ensure any impact on the public is kept to an absolute minimum.”

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