Scottish civil servants to ballot for strike action in pay dispute with Government

Scottish civil servants are set to ballot for strike action amid a pay dispute with the devolved Government.

The dispute centres around a plan the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), which represents a large proportion of civil servants across the UK, claim is a real-terms pay cut.

The negotiations have been ongoing since last year, when a £775 uplift for those earning under £25,000, a £700 uplift for those earning £25,000–£40,000 and a £500 uplift for those earning £40,000 and over was offered.

Following this offer, in February the PCS held a consultative ballot among its members, who opposed the deal. Negotiations have faltered since then.

Up to 10,000 civil servants will be covered by the strike. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA.

The ballot would involve just under 10,000 civil servants, working in all departments, including Scottish government staff, the justice sector, which includes courts and prisons, the culture sector – museums and galleries – and others.

In an email to members outlining a strike ballot, Joy Dunn, an industrial officer for the PCS said: “[The Scottish Government] have claimed there is no additional money to increase pay beyond the core elements of pay policy, despite additional funds being found for ScotRail and an extra £140 million going to local government for pay.

“PCS and other civil service trade unions have spent months in negotiations. But as matters currently stand, members face a massive real-terms pay cut and living standards being further eroded during the worst economic crisis since the 1970s.

“Over the coming weeks PCS will be holding members’ meetings and getting in touch with key information about the ballot so please get involved in these meetings and encourage your friends and colleagues to join PCS.”

The threat of strikes comes as more than 1,000 waste and street cleaning workers across Scotland are set to walk out later this month amid an escalating dispute over pay.

Trade union Unite said about 1,500 members across waste services in 15 councils would now strike from August 24 to 31.

A Scottish Government spokesperson was approached for comment.

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