Scottish federation warns that new negotiating board for country must not replicate the â€œbrokenâ€ UK model.
The end of the UK wide Police Negotiating Board (PNB) is â€œabhorrentâ€ and its demise â€œdoes a fundamental disservice to the fine men and women of the Police Service in England and Walesâ€, Scottish politicians have been told.
Calum Steele (pictured), General Secretary of the Scottish Police Federation, told the countryâ€™s justice committee that the UK wide PNB had become a â€œbroken system in recent years dominated effectively by the Home Office who have been there for no other purpose but to make sure that the governmentâ€™s agenda is not breachedâ€.
He said his organisation welcomed the creation of the new Scottish Police Negotiating Board but added that it would be a â€œmassive loss of opportunityâ€ if Scotland simply tries to replicate the â€œbrokenâ€ UK PNB model in Scotland.
Following a recommendation in the Winsor pay reviews the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) will replace the Police Negotiating Board in the latter half of next year. There have been concerns that there will be no ability to negotiate under the new system.
However, as part of the Criminal Justice Bill â€“ going through the Scottish Parliament â€“ a Scottish Police Negotiating Board will be created.
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill promised in April at the Scottish Police Federation conference that, following any Scottish PNB disputes â€“ when both the Staff and Official side of the PNB fail to agree on a matter â€“ any arbitration on pay would be â€œlegally binding on the government I serve and any future administrationsâ€.
Speaking to MSPs earlier this month, Mr Steele said the Scottish Police Federation considered it â€œmanifestly unfairâ€ that current arbitration is only binding on the Staff Side.
He added: â€œThere is an indication from the cabinet secretary as least as far as pay is concerned that he would be willing to have pay matters binding.
â€œBut the [current] legislation is structured in such a way that whilst a cabinet secretary can bind himself â€“ or a future herself â€“ they do not necessarily bind Parliament.
â€œBecause the binding of an individual â€“ while you might have confidence in that individual and their ability to perform the job â€“ is not the same as having binding arbitration in its own right and that is something that would need to be addressed during the main provisions of the Criminal Justice Bill.â€
In England and Wales â€“ and with the current PNB â€“ arbiters can make a decision on police pay disputes but the Home Secretary retains the final decision on whether accept the proposal.
John Gillies, director of Human Resources for Police Scotland, said: â€œWe welcome the creation of the PNB for Police Scotland. In general terms we are very supportive of what is being proposed.â€
Scrapping negotiating board is â€˜insulting to officersâ€™ (Â£..)