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Scottish police officers set to take action in pay dispute

POLICE officers in Scotland began their “most overt” action in a century yesterday against a “derisory” £565 pay offer.

Officers are barred from taking industrial action by law, but many “withdrew their goodwill” from 5pm, according to the Scottish Police Federation, which represents the Police Scotland rank and file.

The action will see officers refuse to start shifts early or end them late, while some will claim extra pay for any overtime worked. 

The federation dismissed the minimal wage increase, which falls well-behind the skyocketing rate of inflation, but confirmed that negotiations with the Scottish Police Authority, Police Scotland and the Scottish government are set to resume on Monday.

General secretary Calum Steele told the BBC: “We are back at the negotiating table, but we do not yet have a formal improved offer.

“As a result, it’s pretty important that our members are able to continue to demonstrate their frustration.

“Hopefully, that will act as a reminder during the discussions of just how important an issue this is for police officers.”

Mr Steele had previously told members that the action was not taken to “frustrate any investigation or further aggravate any victim’s experience.

“It is simply to demonstrate to our employers just how much discretionary effort, and free policing hours, they ordinarily take for granted,” he stressed.

The Scottish Police Federation general secretary said that the protest had not been endorsed lightly, but it demonstrated officers’ “utter contempt” for the meagre wage offer.

Police Scotland claimed to be committed to seeking a pay settlement through the Police Negotiating Board, while SNP First Minister Nicola Sturgeon voiced hope that officers would agree to a “fair and affordable” deal.

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