Shared Services, Collaboration and Mergers

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2010 Police and Justice Service Group Conference
24 June 2010

Conference recognises that shared services and collaboration are now major issues for our members in police forces in England and Wales. Along with the Treasury’s Total Place initiative, collaboration threatens our members’ jobs, and the services they provide to local communities. Conference also notes that police force mergers are back on the agenda in some areas.

This Conference welcomes the Home Office statutory guidance on Police Force Collaboration issued by the previous Government in March 2010. This guidance sets out a number of key safeguards for members who may be affected by collaborative projects, including: the requirement for genuine consultation with trade unions over plans for collaboration; the need for all aspects of terms and conditions to be taken into account in developing collaboration; TUPE/Cabinet Office Guidance on staff transfers; Code of Practice on Workforce Matters and the protection of pensions.

However, Conference believes that the movement towards integrated service delivery must contain specific measures to protect and develop the workforce and involve service users, the workforce and trade unions in service design. It must also ensure that:

1 Shared services must remain under the control of elected representatives

2 There is adequate funding for services

3 Service integration is not used as an excuse for privatisation

4 There is genuine UNISON involvement in any process of change

5 Clear arrangements exist for workforce protections where integration takes place, including measures to ensure ‘levelling up’ of pay and conditions

Conference therefore calls upon the Service Group Executive to:

1 Campaign to protect the jobs and pay and conditions of police staff affected by shared services, collaboration and mergers with no compulsory redundancies

2 Maximise the use of equality legislation to ensure that our members’ rights to equal pay and a non-discriminatory work place are maintained and improved

3 Highlight the importance of trade union involvement in changes to service provision and service improvement

4 Use shared services, collaboration and mergers as an opportunity to make the case for a national solution to police staff pay and grading in England and Wales

5 Promote public-public partnerships as an alternative to privatisation

6 Work with other Service Groups and the Service Group Liaison Committee to defend the interests of police staff in Total Place initiatives