Workforce Modernisation

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Police Staff Service Group Conference 2006
21 July 2006

Conference notes the many initiatives which are underway in the Service under the heading of workforce modernisation. These can be broadly summed up as changes in the configuration of the workforce to produce more efficient and effective outcomes from the same resources. Examples include the recruitment of PCSOs, further civilianisation and the better use of designated police staff such as investigation or detention officers. Mixed operational teams of police staff and police officers are beginning to deliver impressive gains in productivity for the service and improved public reassurance.

Conference welcomes the positive impact which such modernisation initiatives are having on the creation of an integrated, single mission service. Workforce modernisation is helping to continue the trend away from the old-fashioned status divide between police staff and police officers.

Conference would be concerned, however, if the sole driver for workforce modernisation were to deliver policing ‘on the cheap’. UNISON does not support the redistribution of work, or the redrawing of role boundaries, without the necessary investment in training, development, career pathways, pay and conditions and industrial relations.

Conference therefore calls on the Service Group Executive to pursue a new settlement on police staff funding, deployment, training, pay and conditions to underpin and guarantee the success of workforce modernisation. Conference believes that such a settlement will require:

1)the relaxation of the crime fighting fund restriction on police force recruitment;

2)a sophisticated and jointly agreed model of demand management to ensure that resources are redirected to fill key staffing and skills shortfalls;

3)a jointly agreed, and fully funded, skills agenda linked to a Police Staff Council workplace learning agreement;

4)a national pay and grading structure to drive consistency in the pay of all police staff;

5)revised industrial relations machinery, as described by John Randall in his report on the future of collective bargaining in the police service;

6)better alignment between Police Staff and Police Officer reward structures to provide parity, where appropriate, and ensure equal pay.