Payments for working additional hours, and removal of the bar on overtime payments to employees paid on national salary spine 24 and above

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2010 Police and Justice Service Group Conference
16 June 2010

Conference notes the existing national Police Staff Council clause 6.1 Section 1 (Pay), in respect of entitlement to receive overtime payments:

6.1: An employee paid at or below point 24 of the national salary spine who works in excess of an average of 37 hours per week shall be paid at the following rates for the additional hours:

Mondays to SaturdaysTime and a half

Sundays and public holidaysDouble time

Conference is seeking approval for the amendment of this condition by the removal of the bar on overtime payments to employees paid at or over point 24 of the national salary spine. It has been noted that numerous forces seek to overcome this bar by the use of local agreements between UNISON and various Force departments that exist within the Police service. Typically an agreement is reached where an urgent or critical business need is proven in order to attract and compensate employees at the rate afforded to others at, or, above point 24 of the national salary spine.

Whilst it is accepted that the inclusion of this condition affords protection from abuse of work of equal value and of Force finances, it is noted that parity does not exist for all of our members. Some members are afforded this compensation whilst many others are not. This bias materialises from both a Departmental Heads budget allocation and interpretation of the work involved. This two-tier service is not acceptable on the principles of equality and fairness. What should be afforded to one should be afforded to all.

The practice of local agreements in this area between Force Departments and UNISON leaves the union open to criticism from our members. It is not for UNISON to justify which work stream area is critical over another by agreeing to higher compensation payments for some members whilst others do not due to the existence or lack of a local agreement. Rather, this decision should lie with Business Managers and Departmental Heads who are held to account for their budgets. As cuts on overtime payments are now under scrutiny, the risk of any abuse of finances is minimal.

By removing the bar as contained within clause 6.1 above, it affords equal treatment and pay for all UNISON members who agree to work overtime within their Departments regardless of where their pay falls on the national salary spinal scale.

Conference therefore calls upon our national negotiators to raise and pursue with the national Employers side the removal of the overtime bar at national salary spine 24.