Unions urge Scottish Government to reopen public sector pay deal

Written by David Blackman on 1 April 2019 in News

Four unions join forces to call for an end to "inherent unfairness" of differing pay deals across sectors

The letter is the latest step in the unions' campaigns for better pay for public servants. Photo: PA

Trade unions have urged the Scottish Government to reopen its public sector pay deal after teachers secured an increased salary package last week.

The EIS union, which represents teachers in Scotland, announced last week that its members have backed a pay deal that will deliver a compounded increase of 13.51% over three years.

Teachers north of the border will a receive 3% increase backdated from April 2018, an additional 7% from this month, and 3% more from April 2020. PCS, FDA, Prospect and the prison officers' union, POA, have called for a "similar" deal for civil and other public servants, but did not specify a figure.


The agreement exceeds the pan-public sector pay deal currently in place, under which the Scottish Government has guaranteed a minimum increase during 2019/20 of 3% for public sector workers earning £36,500 or below.

Holyrood has guaranteed a 2% raise this financial year for those earning between £36,500 and £80,000, with all pay rises subject to a £1,600 cap.

In a joint letter to finance secretary Derek Mackay, senior Scottish officers at PCS, FDA, Prospect and POA, wrote: "Whilst we support the pay campaign led by our sister unions in the education sector, our members are very much of the view that similar offers should be made in our sector and we would now invite you to re-open the pay policy in order that we can access similar offers.

"The pay policy should be reopened in order that our members can get access to similar increases to reflect their hard work and dedication to Scotland’s civil and public services."

The letter called for Mackay to address the "inherent unfairness" of differing pay deals as a matter of urgency, given that the ongoing public sector pay talks were at a "critical stage" and should not be suspended.

The unions also noted UNITE’s request to Scottish council umbrella body COSLA to reopen the three-year local government pay settlement, which they said would deliver higher awards than the wider public sector pay policy.

They also pointed to a letter from Mackay’s predecessor John Swinney to unions in May 2015, in which the ex-finance secretary wrote that it would be "wholly unfair to have one part of our public service with substantially more generous employment terms than others".

Hardy told CSW that his members should not have to suffer pay erosion, which those earning more than £36,500 face with inflation continuing to hover around 2%.

The letter was signed by Richard Hardy, Prospect's national secretary for Scotland; Lynne Henderson, PCS Scotland national officer, Andy Hogg, assistant general secretary for POA; and Allan Sampson, the FDA’s national officer north of the border.

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