Keeping Scotland Safe and Strong: A Consultation on Reforming Police and Fire and Rescue Services in Scotland

Listen

PART A - POLICE
6. WORKFORCE ARRANGEMENTS

6.1.By reforming our police service we aim to create a sustainable police service, protecting and improving frontline services and outcomes for Scotland's communities, against the backdrop of financial challenges. We have no plans to make fundamental changes to the status, or terms and conditions of service of officers or support staff as part of reform. The Scottish Government recognises the success of the reform programme will depend on the staff who will be transforming the service. Once the new police service is operational, terms and conditions for police officers will be negotiated between the Scottish Police Authority, the Chief Constable and the Scottish Government and the staff associations using the established Police Negotiating Board structures and, for police staff, between the Scottish Police Authority and its employees.

Current Arrangements

6.2.Every police officer in Scotland holds the office of constable, irrespective of rank. Constables are holders of a public office and are under the direction and control of the Chief Constable. As a result, officers' terms and conditions of service are governed through regulations. The current regulations relating to the appointment and terms and conditions of service for all police officers are set out in the Police (Scotland) Regulations 2004. The regulations for police officer pensions are set out in the Police Pensions Regulations 1987 ( PPS) and the Police Pensions (Scotland) 2007 ( NPPS). Any changes to these, including pay and pension, are made following consultation with the Police Negotiating Board ( PNB) and the Police Authority.

6.3.Police officers below the rank of Assistant Chief Constable are appointed by the Chief Constable. Deputy Chief Constables and Assistant Chief Constables are appointed by the police authority after consultation with the Chief Constable, who, following a recent Police Advisory Board for Scotland ( PABS) agreement, now sits as a member of the selection panel, and subject to the approval of Ministers. The Chief Constable is appointed by the Police Authority, subject to the approval of Ministers.

6.4.Police staff are employed by the Police Authority or Joint Board to work with the police in carrying out their duties. Police staff provide a range of valuable roles from administrative support to crime analysis. Their terms and conditions are agreed by the Police Authority or Joint Board, after negotiation through the police staff council.

Transitional Arrangements

6.5.The Scottish Government proposes that all police officers and police staff who are in post immediately before the new police service is established should transfer to the new service on the day of establishment and should retain their terms and conditions of service on transfer. This is in line with Government policy that staff transferring within the public sector should do so as far as possible without any detriment.

6.6.Under current regulations, the Chief Constable can require an officer to serve anywhere within the police force area. In a single service, the equivalent of the police force area would be the entire country. The creation of a single police service creates more professional and career opportunities for police officers to serve in a variety of roles across Scotland. And one of the advantages of the single service is the greater flexibility it will provide to deploy police officers and police assets wherever they are needed. However, the Scottish Government does not intend that the reform should bring hardship to individual officers and therefore proposes that at the time the new Scottish police service is established existing officers will retain their current terms and conditions of service under the 2004 Regulations including Regulation 21 which provides safeguards for officers who are statutorily transferred. In the first instance it will be for the leadership of the new service to decide their approach for new officers, negotiating with the staff side through PNB if they want to embed any changes in the Police Regulations.

6.7.Similar arrangements will apply to police staff, who will retain their terms and conditions at the point of transfer. It will be for the leadership of the new service to negotiate any changes should it consider them necessary.

Chief Constable Appointment

6.8.In line with current arrangements, we propose that the Chief Constable should be appointed by the Scottish Police Authority, subject to the approval of Scottish Ministers, following a fair and open competition. This would include the appointment of the first Chief Constable.

Other Chief Officer Appointments

6.9.We propose that appointments to posts at Deputy Chief Constable and Assistant Chief Constable will be made by the Scottish Police Authority, subject to the approval of the Scottish Ministers, following a fair and open competition. The Chief Constable would be a member of the selection panel.

New Police Officers

6.10. New police officers will be appointed by the Chief Constable and paid by the Scottish Police Authority, again in line with current arrangements. Changes to pay and terms and conditions will continue to be negotiated through the Police Negotiating Board and implemented through changes to regulations, approved by Parliament. The Scottish Police Authority will also need to appoint staff to assist it in carrying out its scrutiny function, as well as providing forensic services, including the management of the DNA database. These staff would not be under the direction and control of the Chief Constable.

New Police Staff

6.11. New police staff will be appointed by the Scottish Police Authority. The Scottish Police Authority will establish the terms and conditions which will apply for new police staff, and also decide whether to harmonise the terms and conditions of service for police staff previously employed by each of the eight existing Authorities and Joint Boards following negotiations with the trade unions.

Pensions: Police Officers and Police Staff

6.12. We will ensure that police reform does not result in any detriment for members in respect of their pension scheme entitlements and we will put in place legislative and administrative arrangements to ensure that police officers remain eligible for the Police Pension Scheme and Police staff remains eligible to be members of the Local Government Pension Scheme (Scotland). There may, of course, be other changes as a result of wider public sector pension reform but negotiations on this will be separate from the reform of the police service.

Police Negotiating Board

6.13. The Police Negotiating Board ( PNB) is currently responsible for negotiating pay and terms of conditions of service for police officers. We recognise that the current consensus within Scottish policing is that Scotland should remain within the UK wide negotiating structure and we are not therefore proposing any changes to these arrangements. We will however want to work with the Independent Chair of the PNB to ensure it continues to operate effectively in Scotland and meets the needs of Scottish policing. We will, of course, also need to take account of the implications for Scotland of any recommendations arising from Part 2 of the Winsor Review into the future of PNB.

Question 11: What are your views regarding our proposals for officers and staff transferring to the new Scottish police service? Are there any other workforce issues we should be considering?

Question 12: Are there any other issues we should consider in creating the Scottish police service?