To: The Scottish Prison Service and The Scottish Government
Fairer PAY for value of work.
Fairly re-evaluate the non-operational services particularly for the lowest paid and offer, with no strings attached a fairer pay deal for the essential services without which the prisons in Scotland would not be able to run.
Why is this important?
For far too long the non-operational side has been outcast and a forgotten part of the prison service, whether it be admin, parole, canteen services or estates maintenance The Scottish Prison Service seem to think it’s acceptable to place families in what is essentially poverty by not fairly rewarding the work that they do the level of qualifications that are expected of them and the above and beyond attitude that is taken for granted. They bang on about the other benefits that there are for working for the prison service but in all honesty there are pretty much none, they bang on about the pension(the ones that have been Cut so much they’re effectively worthless) the staff discounts (available from a big company where you have to buy gift cards and often find the price cheaper elsewhere anyway) the sick pay and sick entitlement (which is greatly received but also needed due to the stressful nature of the job remembering that the staff including the non-operational are in contact with the most dangerous members of the public on a daily basis, the constant barrage of extra work and extra tasks with no extra reward they are grinding down their staff and sending them dangerously close to a burnout)
There is a clear divide throughout the SPS where it seems that the non-operational staff are degraded and forgotten about.
The Scottish prison service do not pay appropriately for these posts. For example a member of admin staff at one of the prisons effectively has 3 roles to do after 2 colleagues got fed up and left. Here’s the big surprise they can’t fill the post because the wages are so poor. Another member of non-operational staff at another prison keeps getting tasks added to their job role with no extra reward and then subsequently is rebuked when they cannot deliver on their original role. Yet another member of staff is effectively doing the job of two people because the post for the other person has lay vacant for months. They are afraid to fill the post with agency workers as then they may well be subject to an equal pay claim is it right that even temporary workers are better paid and have better working conditions than those employed by the prison service. Another prison is so short on staff they have had to beg, borrow and steal staff from across the country to deliver on a project. Yet another has had vacant posts for months upon months and has had to borrow staff from elsewhere effectively leaving them short and yet another prison has a vacant post and is sending labour to a different prison leaving one staff member to cover 3 roles and still no one is taking notice. Then there are the “B” bands the lowest paid workers in the prison service. Many have to travel considerable distances to get to work and are constantly belittled and passed over for other colleagues rewards before themselves. Such as recently an equal pay claim which was settled out of court and the prison service paid out£4000 to each of the the C, D and E bands but they didn’t even consider the B bands even with this 4000 the wages of the C, D and E bands are not proportional to the jobs that they do and nowhere near in line with what other similar roles are paid. But what about the B bands who just keep getting more and more tasks added to their job description without any extra reward. As it was said by the upper eschelons if the prison service someone has to loose out to give someone else something and yet they can hand back millions of pounds each year to the government.
It is time that the Scottish Prison Service and the Scottish Government sit up and take notice of the utter state of despair that the prison service is in. Time that they take a serious look at themselves and at the crash in morale they have caused and the real life implications of the desicions that they make. Why should anyone ever have to loose out? What about fair reward for the work that they do?