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Wednesday 23 December 2020

COPFS members overwhelmingly back industrial action in indicative ballot

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FDA members in the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service have voted in favour of strike action over fair pay in an indicative ballot.

95% voted to support the action and to progress the FDA’s long-running ‘Equal value, equal worth’ campaign for pay parity between COPFS and equivalent roles in the Scottish Government.

Speaking to the Herald, the FDA’s National Officer for Scotland Allan Sampson said that the union now had a clear mandate to move forward with the campaign:

“Ministers should be under no illusion that sympathetic words are enough. The government’s budget will be announced on 28th January and pay parity for COPFS must be part of that budget.

“Our ballot result demonstrates that if they fail again to provide sufficient funds to treat members fairly, there will inevitably be consequences.”

In a submission to the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee earlier this month, the FDA argued that members in COPFS “feel undervalued for the important work they do,” and pointed out the essential role they had played as keyworkers during the pandemic:

“The success of the organisation in rising to the challenges of operating throughout Covid-19 has been as a direct result of the extraordinary effort, dedication and hard work of COPFS staff.”

Commenting on the submission, Sampson argued:

“Our prosecutors will have an absolutely pivotal role to play in dealing with the huge backlog of cases, a problem that has been exacerbated by Covid-19. If COPFS is to rise to that challenge in the way the public expect, it must be able to recruit and retain the best staff, and that can only be achieved through a fair and just pay settlement."

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