§ Mr. Raymond S. Robertson
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has to alter the status of prison officers in Scotland.
§ Mr. Lang
The precise legal position of Scottish prison officers and governors is different from that of similar staff in England and Wales. I consider it appropriate that as they carry out similar duties to those in England and Wales they should have the same status.
I therefore intend to legislate this Session to place Scottish prison officers and governors on the same footing as those in the rest of the United Kingdom: they should have in substance the same powers, within the Scottish legal framework, and the position of the trade unions which represent them should be the same. As it will in consequence be unlawful for those trade unions to call industrial action, appropriate procedures will be established for settling the remuneration of the staff concerned.
My officials will be in discussion with the Scottish Prison Officers Association and others affected.