The Scottish Executive have ruled out a ban on Scottish prison officers going on strike saying that they have an agreement for binding arbitration in the event of a dispute with prison officers.
Jack Straw intends to ban prison officers in England and Wales from striking if a voluntary arbitration agreement can’t be reached. The Commons debate on removing prison officers’ rights totalled only 58 minutes.
The amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill has been criticised by a Liebour MP who says that it could be used to ban strikes by other public sector workers.
The Tories introduced the ban on prison officers in 1994, opposed by Liebour who said that they would repeal the ban when they got elected. They eventually did it in 2005 – six years after getting into power – and less than 3 years later are reintroducing it.
Why did both sides agree to binding arbitration in Scotland both only voluntary in England? Simple – the British government can’t be trusted by the English. Binding arbitration was ignored to cut English nurses pay rises in early 2007 and again in late 2007 with English police. The Scottish government, meanwhile, has honoured its obligations on both nurses and police pay and awarded them the pay deal that the arbitration panel ruled. If the British government ignores binding arbitration then what hope is there for police officers with only a voluntary agreement?
Yet another example of anti-English discrimination by the Brit-Scot Liebour government.