Scotland: POAS Scottish TUC

At the recent STUC conference as part of the ongoing fight to have our pay restored after years of austerity the following motion was fully supported and passed at conference

41. RESTORATION OF PRE-AUSTERITY PAY LEVELS “that this Congress notes that the Scottish Government’s policy on public sector pay has failed to take the opportunity to build upon the progress made, when lifting the pay cap and delivering the means necessary to begin the restoration of lost earnings to thousands of workers across Scotland. “Congress seeks the STUC General Council to expose the window dressing rhetoric of the Scottish Government of taking a progressive approach to pay and organise a coordinated campaign amongst affiliates around the restoration of preausterity pay levels.” Mover: Prison Officers’ Association Scotland.

Ian Welsh from the Scottish national committee of the POAS spoke on the motion asking for support, where he stated the following. President, Congress, we are addressing you on the very serious issue on Public Sector pay, we welcome the opportunity to second this composite motion on behalf of our members here in Scotland.

Congress, Prison Officers, along with other unions have had enough of our pay settlement’s that have fallen way short of the RPI for years. Failing to restore the real term pay cuts imposed on our members. Imposition of very low pay increases over the last decade. This is not acceptable Congress.

Prison Officers are on the brink of taking industrial action, we are holding a special delegate’s Conference on this matter in Southport 4 weeks from now.

This call was from our members in Barlinnie currently a prison that is housing over 500 more prisoners than its designed to hold.

However, this call could have been from any branch in Scotland, Officers and staff have had enough it’s now time to take action, Congress we must unite and face this challenge head on.

Right now, the Scottish Prison Service are looking at contingency plans for putting two prisoners in a cell designed for one prisoner, however the additional stress and pressures that brings for officers is not acceptable. It is difficult running a prison regime at the best of times never mind running it with double the capacity in some areas, it is chaos and it is a recipe for disaster.

We have seen an increase in staff assaults, this coupled with the Psychoactive substance abuse currently within our prisons is stretching our members to breaking point. Yet our employer and government fail to recognise and reward our members, we don’t need nice words from them, Congress we demand action.

We have held discussions with the Justice Secretary and the Finance Minister and in these discussion’s, we have made it abundantly clear what’s on offer is not good enough. We all need an immediate and substantial pay rise now. We must get recourse for all the lower paid workers we represent. We must take a United stand together. Now is the time Congress, let’s do this and send a clear message to the Government and our combined employers.

Thanks for listening, let’s unite and pass this motion, sending a clear message to our Government and Employers.

Representing over 30,000 Prison, Correctional and Secure Psychiatric Workers, the POA is the largest UK Union in this sector, able to trace its roots back more than 100 years.