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| 10.05.2019

SCOTTISH PRISON OFFICERS TO BALLOT ON INDUSTRIAL ACTION.

At a special conference convened in Perth the Prison Officers Association Scotland agreed to ballot their membership on Industrial Action over pay.
Facing the prospect of receiving yet another year of capped rises from public sector pay policy Prison Officers are saying enough is enough.

Speaking on the outcome of the conference Andy Hogg Assistant General Secretary said “this decision reflects the anger and frustration of our members over the lack of progress around their inadequate levels of pay. In 2014 it was accepted by the then Justice Secretary that a new pay structure should be introduced to recognise and reward Scottish prison officers appropriately for the challenging work they do. Five years on we are no further forward.

This is coming at a time when our members are subject to increasing levels of violence, excessive overcrowding and an environment that is becoming ever more volatile through staff exposure to psychoactive substances and the violent behaviour of prisoners under their influence. We are on the slippy slope back to the dark days of the eighties and Staff morale has never been lower. We have the makings of a perfect storm”

Encouraging the Scottish Government to take heed of the decision Scottish National Chairman Phil Fairlie stated, “At a time when we should be sitting down discussing proper staffing levels for our prisons and a pay system that rewards and recognises the incredible work our members are doing every day, we are in fact being invited to discuss where to find in excess of 20m of savings due to the SPS budget settlement. Scottish government need to listen to what we are telling them and respond quickly, before we find ourselves trying to manage a crisis in our prisons that is gathering momentum day by day”.

Note to editors:
Unlike our counterparts across England and Wales Prison Officers in Scotland can take lawful industrial action having the right restored by the Scottish Government in 2015.