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Tuesday 04 February 2020

COPFS members call on Finance Minister to fund pay rise

FDA Equal Value Equal Worth 847

Ahead of the Scottish Budget, more than 800 FDA members and supporters called on Derek Mackay, then Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work, to provide the necessary funding to end pay inequality between Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) staff and their contemporaries employed by the Scottish Government.

Due to drastically lower starting salaries, some COPFS staff stand to earn nearly £94,000 less over a seven-year period compared to similar Scottish Government roles.

Allan Sampson, FDA’s National Officer for Scotland, has described this disparity as “completely unsustainable” and warned that it “risks severely limiting the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service’s ability to recruit and retain the staff it needs”.

The FDA’s Equal Value, Equal Worth campaign is calling for increased funding to close this pay gap. 832 postcards, signed by members and supporters, have been delivered to Mackay, which call on the Scottish Government to provide “the necessary funding to COPFS to remedy this unfair situation”.

Responding to a question from James Kelly MSP, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon last week told the Scottish Parliament that she was “aware” of the situation in COPFS.  She made assurances that the Scottish Government “will seek to address all those matters in the budget decisions”, prompting Sampson to urge the Cabinet Secretary to “seize the opportunity in his budget on Thursday to deliver on that commitment”.

“Mackay should be in no doubt about the strength of feeling amongst COPFS staff,” Sampson added. “A failure to act will be a clear sign that the Scottish Government doesn’t truly value the work of the prosecution service.”

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