§ Mr. Bidwell
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has had concerning delay in implementing the pay increase for probation officers of November 1990; what assessment he has made of the effect of the delay on morale in the service; and to when the increase will be backdated.
§ Mr. Butler
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is yet in a position to authorise the new salary scale for probation officers upon which there has been arbitration.
§ Mr. John Evans
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to announce the probation officers' 1990–91 pay award.
§ Mr. John Patten
My right hon. Friend has received a number of representations about the length of time it has taken to fix the increase in probation officers' salaries effective from 1 July 1990.
The main part of the delay was due to the staff side's decision to refer the matter unilaterally to arbitration. My right hon. Friend received the report of the ACAS arbitration panel on 6 November 1990, nearly four months after the employers' side made their final offer of 9.25 per cent.
Our decision to accept the increase of 9.25 per cent. and one of the three structural changes to the salary scale included in the arbitration award was announced on 6 February 1991. I expect most probation officers to see this decision as reasonable.