Whilst Prospect has been repeatedly positive about the significant differences between the Scottish ministerial pay policy and that applied elsewhere in the UK our members still have deep concerns over the policy, especially in respect of the 2% cap for staff earning over £36500, the impact on low paid staff of the removal of guaranteed underpins, the aspirations of the Scottish Government in respect of public sector pay in the long term, and in some cases over whether their employer will actually adhere to it.
Mr Mackay, as always, engaged in a constructive manner with our concerns, paying tribute to the role Prospect and other public sector Unions had played in shaping the significant changes in pay policy in Scotland.
Disappointingly it is clear that as the pay policy has now received Parliamentary approval then Mr Mackay did not wish to revist the structure, but he was prepared to look at implementation and freeing up some of the constraints on how money is used, particularly in respect of low pay underpins. There was positive engagement too around setting out the Scottish Governments aspirations (building on questions raised by Prospect with the First Minister two weeks ago) and thus providing clarity to members and around greater pay coherence across the Scottish sector.
Most importantly Mr Mackay made it clear that adherence to the pay policy by employers was not optional and he expected employers to pay
Prospect National Secretary Richard Hardy said "of course we are very disappointed about our failure to achieve improvements in the pay policy, and we will now consult with members on how we take this forward. We shouldn't underestimate however the important gains on low pay, a potential aspirational road map for public sector pay, improved coherence across the Scottish government sector, and most importantly of all a clear instruction to employers to pay up. This highlights the real impact that Prospect and the other Unions have been able to have on the direction of public sector pay in Scotland, and is a tribute to the strength of our members"