More than 120 police call handlers have pay cuts of up to £6,371

Ministers are “sleepwalking to another blunder” after more than 120 police call handlers had pay cuts of up to £6,371, according to the Scottish Liberal Demorcrats.

A freedom of information request by the party showed that 128 members of staff have seen pay fall between £1,060 and £6,371.

It also showed that 380 workers have seen their wages increase.

The new pay deal came into effect on April 1.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said: “Police call centre workers in Govan, Bilston and Motherwell are facing pay cuts and unreasonable changes to their conditions.

“No wonder absences are so high and morale so low.

“There have already been a number of high profile incidents relating to emergency call handling in recent years. Experienced call handlers are essential but there is a risk that they will stream for the exits.

“I’ve challenged the First Minister and the Justice Secretary to step in and support this service.

“They’re sleepwalking towards another blunder. Ministers need to take a long hard look at the past and reverse these cuts.”

Pay cuts have come as a result of changes to back and night shift allowances.

The party recently revealed that one in 10 emergency call centre handlers have been off sick in recent weeks.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “From call handlers to forensic scientists, Scotland’s civilian police staff play a critical and often frontline role in keeping people safe, and we have been working with partners to further invest in the workforce.

“The new pay deal establishes common pay, terms and conditions for police staff across Scotland, with more than 70% receiving a higher pay package.

“It also follows the widely-welcomed thirty-one month 6.5% pay settlement for officers in Scotland.”

Jude Helliker, director of people and development for Police Scotland, said: “The Staff Pay and Reward Modernisation project is delivering common terms and conditions of employment for all staff, who are our most important asset.

“The project removes inequalities and anomalies in pay and conditions inherited from predecessor forces.

“For those whose salary is to be reduced, the proposed employment package offers a two-year period of protection of pay and allowances.

“An independent appeals process is open for staff to appeal against the outcome of the evaluation of their role.”

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