asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his policy on the unification of payments of principal scientific officers in new unified grade 7; what payments are involved; and by what date the principal scientific officer grade will reach the maximum of the new unified grade.
§ Mr. Brooke
The Government's policy on extending unified grading in the Civil Service to principal level was announced on 26 July 1985 at column 776. Arrangements were then made to bring the 11,000 staff concerned, 471W including principal scientific officers, into the new structure. The benefits to staff, particularly PSOs, of the extension of unified grading in terms of enhanced career opportunities and substantial increases in pay are considerable. The grade 7 scale will ultimately provide a pay increase of almost £2,000 for former PSOs on the maximum of their scale.
With such substantial sums involved for a large group of staff — there are more than 2,000 PSOs in Government Departments and as many again in non-departmental public bodies—it was important to devise arrangements which would phase in the considerable cost. The assimilation arrangements for former PSOs provide for them to be fully assimilated to the pay of the new unified grade by January 1990. The same approach was adopted for other grades entering the new grade 7, but the time taken varies according to the size of the overall increase in pay.
As part of this year's Civil Service pay award for scientists, the Government have already agreed to improve substantially the rate of assimilation to the final grade 7 pay scale for former PSOs by awarding an additional £500 for those on the maximum of the scale and £400 for those on other points over and above the general 6 per cent. offer for other Civil Service grades.