Edinburgh's Saughton prison: Prison officers across Scotland ballot on strike action over pay and working patterns

Prison Officers Association says staff unhappy about ‘disruptive changes’ to work patterns
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Scotland’s prison officers are to be balloted for strike action over pay and working patterns.

The Prison Officers Association said prison staff were unhappy at “disruptive changes” to work patterns that have been proposed by the Scottish Prison Service (SPS). The union said it had given seven days’ notice of the move to the SPS, with the ballot opening on December 14.

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Strike action would pile more pressure on prison management and the Scottish Government at a time when Scotland's prisons are already under severe pressure through overcrowding and understaffing.

Cells at Edinburgh's Saughton prison - a strike by prison officers would pile pressure on a system already under strainCells at Edinburgh's Saughton prison - a strike by prison officers would pile pressure on a system already under strain
Cells at Edinburgh's Saughton prison - a strike by prison officers would pile pressure on a system already under strain

POA assistant secretary Phil Fairlie said: “We have today informed the SPS of our intention to ballot our membership over strike action and have provided them with the statutory notice required.

"The sticking points in the pay offer already rejected through a ballot, are in relation to the staging of payments within the deal, and more substantively, are the issues around a reform element of the deal relating to staff attendance patterns and regime delivery.

"We have been unable to resolve those issues as yet, but we are still at the table with the employer in the hope that we can resolve them ahead of everyone getting a present they’d rather not have for Christmas this year.”