§ Mr. Jessel
asked the Minister for the Civil Service what is the current position on salary negotiations for all grades of scientists in the Civil Service bearing in mind the representations of scientists employed at the National Physical Laboratory, Teddington, and conveyed to him on 13 June by the hon. Member for Twickenham.464W
§ Mr. Channon
The union representing Civil Service scientists—the Institution of Professional Civil Servants—has claimed pay increases for all scientist grades based on those awarded, as a result of pay research, to the administration group. For all but two grades, my Department have already agreed to the substance of the IPCS proposal and is authorising payment of the first two stages of the 1979 Civil Service pay settlement—9 per cent., plus, where appropriate, £1 a week from 1 April and 5 per cent. from 1 August—from the due dates. As soon as precise salary scales have been agreed, the payment of the balance from 1 January 1980 will be authorised.
A genuine misunderstanding has, however, arisen over the remaining two grades—the principal scientific officer and senior scientific officer—about the implications for this year's pay settlement of correspondence exchanged last year between my Department and the union. I have, as a gesture of goodwill offered exactly what the IPCS has claimed—provided that certain misunderstandings can be reached to prevent repercussions. I regret that the IPCS has not accepted these conditions but my offer remains on the table for the time being.
I met representatives of the IPCS today and explained that there is no justification for any strike action.