LABOUR MSPs’ staff may walk out over a pay dispute, a union claims.

The GMB Scotland union says it may stage industrial action in a row over wages.

An urgent meeting of its Scottish Labour Parliamentary Staff branch will be held next week.

Office staff, researchers and other members directly employed by politicians will be balloted unless Holyrood chiefs agree to hike up a proposed 1.4% pay rise.

The figure is less than half of the 3% increment set to go to other public sector workers across Scotland.

It’s based on findings from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) , which is conducted by the Office for National Statistics and used to uprate the Staff Costs Provision (SCP) pot used by MSPs to pay their employees.

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That funding pool is administered by the Scottish Parliament Corporate Body, which is separate from government and acts on Holyrood staffing, security and other issues.

GMB Scotland says those employed by MSPs should not face a smaller pay rise than those working elsewhere in the public sector.

Announcing the move yesterday, Keir Greenaway, GMB Scotland organiser, commented: “MSP staff are on the frontline of Scottish democracy, providing the vital link between the public and our elected representatives in Holyrood.

“What is the point in the Scottish Government setting a pay policy if the MSPs that agree it can’t pay it to their own staff?

“How can it be fair that staff employed by MSPs receive an uplift less than half of that paid to those employed by the parliament?

“What this farce clearly demonstrates is that MSP staff need to be able to collectively bargain on their own pay and conditions.

“We’ll be meeting with our members to agree next steps, but the corporate body should be in no doubt – if they push ahead with plans to cut staff pay we will ballot for industrial action.”