Scottish Prisoner Custody Officers Launch Strike Ballot Over Pay Imposition
An industrial action ballot of Prisoner Custody Officers (PCOs) in GeoAmey gets underway today (Monday 13 January) over a pay imposition which will result in staff receiving less than £10 an hour for the next two years.
Members of GMB Scotland are being asked to vote on whether to take industrial action against pay arrangements that will see many PCO’s paid just £9.60 and £9.85 an hour on the basic rate for 2020 and 2021 respectively.
The dispute comes against the backdrop of increasing safety concerns and challenges in the working environment (see Notes to Editors) and the ballot will run until Friday 24 January, with industrial action potentially taking place as soon as mid- February.
GMB Scotland Organiser Karen Leonard said: “PCOs act as a human shield between prisoners and the public but they are paid an absolute pittance for this vital public service.
“Their working environment brings challenges on a daily basis that the vast majority of us simply couldn't handle, yet the vast majority are paid less than £10 an hour for this.
“The overall management of the court custody and prisoner escort contract has long been a source of concern and controversy and now workers are saying, “Enough is enough”.
“GeoAmey’s claims that safety and security, continuous improvement, and respect and fairness are their principles - clearly this doesn’t apply to their PCOs.
“If the employer wants to avoid a damaging industrial action then they need to get around the table with GMB and negotiate a vastly improved pay deal for their long suffering employees.”
Contact: Peter Welsh, GMB Scotland Communications, on 07976 447077.
Notes to Editors:
“Outrage as violent criminals 'transported around Scotland in ordinary unsecured cars”, Daily Record, 11 February 2019, accessible at <<https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/outrage-violent-criminals-transported-around-13981136>>
“The Killers in Picassos: Prison guards warn lives are at risk on Scotland’s roads as violent inmates get carried in ordinary cars”, Sunday Post, 2 June 2019, accessible at <<https://www.sundaypost.com/fp/the-killers-in-picassos-prison-guards-warn-lives-are-at-risk-on-scotlands-roads-as-violent-inmates-get-carried-in-ordinary-cars/>>