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Police across Scotland agree to pay rise following initial ‘derisory’ offer

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POLICE officers in Scotland have agreed to an improved pay offer just weeks after they rejected an “derisory” offer of £565. 

All ranks across the force will receive a 5% pay rise, backdated to April 1, as well as a similar increase in allowances. 

The decision was welcomed by Police Scotland’s Chief Constable Sir Iain Livingstone. 

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General secretary of the Scottish Police Federation (SPF) Callum Steele, who represented staff in the negotiations, said it would help to mitigate the cost of living pressures, but not fully overcome them. 

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The pay rise reflects what was offered to officers in England in July. 

In a letter to officers, Steele described the latest offer as a “substantial improvement” on the initial offer which worked out at 1.4%. 

He continued: “The staff side has been cognisant throughout this entire process of the importance of securing the best possible settlement for police officers against a backdrop of the most severe economic circumstances in almost 50 years. 

“In reaching an agreement, the staff side recognises that whilst this increase in pay will mitigate some of the cost of living pressures faced by police officers, it will not entirely address them.”

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By law, police officers are unable to take industrial action but members of the SPF, which represents rank and file officers, withdrew “all goodwill” in June. 

It meant that the body’s 17,500 members, among other things, did not start shifts early or take radio equipment home with them at the end of their shift. 

On Tuesday, Steele said the pay talks were “the toughest round of industrial negotiations in the police since the 1970s”.

He told BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland: “The fact police officers took the action to get us to this substantially improved position, an additional 3.6% on top of the starting point, is in itself a remarkable achievement by our members.”

Steele rejected suggestions that tackling crime would suffer if the pay deal contributed to budgets being stretched. 

He added: “The notion that that’s necessarily going to mean police are going to be giving up on crime I think is a bit far-fetched.”

The SPF general secretary also said on the programme that the years ahead would be “very challenging” for the public sector. 

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The police negotiating board has been handling negotiations between the “staff side” – the SPF, the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents and the Scottish Chief Police Officers Staff Association – and the “official side”. 

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Chief Constable Sir Iain Livingstone said: “Officers work tirelessly every day to keep people safe across the country and it is right that their commitment to public service is recognised and rewarded. 

“I am pleased the police negotiating board has reached agreement on this, particularly at a time when officers are concerned about the cost of living crisis and its impact on them and their families.”

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