Scotland

Courts and prison staff in PCS strikes over pay

PCS flag
The action is part of three days of strikes by PCS members

Civil servants who work at Scottish courts and in prisons are among those taking part in a strike over pay and pensions.

It is part of three days of industrial action by members of the Public and Commercial Services union.

Union leaders said picket lines were in place at all major court locations between 07:00 and 10:00.

The Scottish Court Service said contingency plans were in place and all courts opened for "essential business".

A spokesman added: "At a number of locations public counters have closed or a reduced service has been provided. An early estimate indicates that 31% of SCS staff are taking part in industrial action."

The PCS began a UK-wide three-month campaign of protest over pay, jobs and conditions on 20 March - the day of the Budget.

The union said members faced being worse off after a pay freeze, a pay cap and increased pension contributions.

The latest industrial action in Scotland is being staggered over three days, with different departments and government agencies staging whole or half day strikes.

The PCS said its members at the Scottish Courts Service, the Scottish Prison Service and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service were involved in an all-day walkout. Members from the Registers of Scotland were joining the action in the afternoon.

On Tuesday PCS members at bodies including Creative Scotland, Historic Scotland, and the National Museums and Galleries are due to stage strikes.

On Wednesday civil servants at the Scottish government, Audit Scotland, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Airports will also take part in the industrial action.

PCS Scottish Secretary Lynn Henderson said: "I am very proud of our members in the justice sector who are leading the way at the start of the Scottish rolling three-day action.

"They, like all members working under Scottish ministers, are facing pension attacks, pay that is lagging far behind inflation and job losses.

"The Scottish government's proposed closure of local courts really highlights how attacks on PCS members and attacks on the services they provide are not separate things but are all part of a concerted onslaught against the public sector. "

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