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Following months of long and at times difficult and challenging negotiations the Scottish membership have overwhelmingly agreed to accept a three year pay deal worth a consolidated salary increase of at least 15% when compounded and much more for those still progressing through the pay-bands. The deal applicable to uniformed prison officers operating in the public sector across Scotland will be effective from the 1st April 2019 and last until 31st March 2022. The scale of the deal is unprecedented in recent times and represents the largest pay settlement to date to a public sector body not only in Scotland but across the whole of the UK.
CAMPAIGNING FOR FAIR PAY
Representing a significant step forward in our journey to meet our members aspirations to see salary levels compatible with the complex role they carry out, the settlement vindicates the negotiating strategy put in place by the SNC. When the Scottish Public Sector pay policy was announced covering the pay year 2019 -2020, POA Scotland made it clear to SPS and Scottish Government that what was on offer was not acceptable to our membership and that it would be rejected outright by the pay negotiators when negotiations began. Reflecting the anger and frustration of our membership this union sought to conduct a campaign bringing to the public’s attention the growing discontent within the prison service where morale amongst the uniformed grades had fallen to rock bottom. Highlighting the plight of our members who are operating daily in an environment that is becoming increasingly overcrowded and hostile as well as managing the impact of those in our custody who are under the influence of psychoactive substances. The pay deal is testimony to the success of that campaign and the willingness for those in SPS and Scottish Government to listen and respond accordingly.
THE ROAD TO RESTORATION
It is in our view however that this is only the start of a journey in restoring the terms and conditions of uniformed grades that have eroded over many years. Of equal significance is the opportunity presented through this pay deal to create a new pay bargaining arrangement, that will allow POAS to represent it’s uniformed members in a way that is distinct and different from SPS staff side and delivers a key demand of our members for many years.
SECURING THE FUTURE
For those members in our uniformed First Line Managers group the deal delivers a substantial increase for those on the maximum of the pay band over the first year of the deal and substantially more for those travelling through the progression points. The downside of this significant uplift is that it lifts the salary for this group beyond the Scottish Government pay policy low pay threshold of £36,500 and subsequent increases in years two and three are capped at 2% with an additional 1% non-consolidated for those on the maximum of the pay band. Whilst it has not proved possible to go beyond public sector pay policy for those groups travelling beyond £36,500 we have secured a commitment from SPS that should “any aspect of this offer falls below the minimum pay rise as set out in Public Sector Pay Policy for 2020-21 or 2021-22, SPS will increase salaries to ensure compliance.” Andy Hog g Assistant General Secretary
A SUMMARY OF THE KEY ELEMENTS
The offer relevant to our member s is as follows; A three year offer covering 1st April 2019 t o 31st March 2022
Year 1 – 1st April 2019 to 31st March 2020 Band C – 6.4% increase to the C band maximum and 6% increase to all other C band pay points. Band D – 6.6% increase to the D band maximum and 6% increase to all other D band pay points. Band E – 6% increase to the E band maximum and an increase of 11.9% to E band pay point 2 and 7.6% to E band pay point 3. Band F – 2% increase to the F band maximum and an increase of 9.7% to F band pay point 2 and 5.1% increase to F band pay point 3. Plus, a further 2% non-consolidated payment to those in pay range F who were already on the maximum of the pay range on 31 March 2019.
Year 2 – 1s t April 2020 to 31st March 2021 Bands B, C & D – 4% increase to all pay points in these pay bands. Band E - 2% increase to the E band maximum (as it will be over £36,500) and an increase of 4% to E band pay points 1, 2 and 3. Plus a further 1% non-consolidated payment to those in pay range E who were already on the maximum of the pay range on 31 March 2020. Bands F,2% increase to all pay points in F, G, H and I. Plus a further 1% non-consolidated payment to those in pay ranges F, G, H & I who were already on the maximum of the pay range on 31 March 2020.
Year 3 – 1s t April 2021 to 31st March 2022 Bands C & D – 4% increase to all pay points in these pay bands. Band E - 2% increase to the E band maximum and pay point 3 (as they will be over £36,500) and an increase of 4% to E band pay points 1 and 2. Plus a further 1% non-consolidated payment to those in pay range E who were already on the maximum of the pay range on 31 March 2021. Bands F, 2% increase to all pay points in F, G, H and I. Plus a further 1% non-consolidated payment to those in pay ranges F, G, H & I who were already on the maximum of the pay range on 31 March 2021.
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.