Future of Police Staff Pay and Conditions (England and Wales)

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2012 Police & Justice Conference
14 June 2012

Conference notes the publication of the second part of Tom Winsor’s Report into the future of police staff pay and conditions in England and Wales in March 2012. This second instalment of the Winsor Review was billed by the Government and Tom Winsor as offering a strategic vision of what pay and conditions should look like in the police service in the future.

Conference is reminded that it has not been possible for the Police Staff Council for England and Wales to reach agreement on any of the proposals coming out of Tom Winsor’s Part 1 Report published last year to overwhelming hostility among police staff. The Part 1 proposals were all take and no give, were discriminatory towards female police staff and failed to deliver their promise to protect police staff jobs from redundancy if we agreed them.

Unlike his Part 1 Report, Part 2 of the Winsor Review is more balanced. Tom Winsor listened to UNISON’s evidence about discrimination in old-fashioned force pay and grading systems and asks forces to address this. He believes as we do, that police force pay and grading systems need to be equality proofed and that some police force pay grades are too long and should be shortened. He wants forces to abolish performance related pay. He supports the continuation of the Police Staff Council for England and Wales and even says that forces should pay £50,000 between them to support the Council. So far, so good.

But Tom Winsor reverts to type when saying, in the latest instalment of his report, that: police staff shift allowances should be abolished and replaced with a single unsocial hours allowance, just for night work; that Sunday working should be at plain time rate only and that police staff pay should be brought into line with local pay rates in the minimum wage private sector.

Conference notes with dismay that in her letter to the Police Staff Council of 1 May 2012, the Home Secretary Theresa May, referred only the negative recommendations from Winsor 2 to the Police Staff Council.

Conference recognises that the Home Secretary has no powers of direction over the outcome of the Winsor Review as far as the Police Staff Council is concerned; and long may this remain the case. Conference welcomes the Trade Union Side statement on Winsor 2 issued in May this year, setting out the negotiating position on Winsor.

Conference notes that the majority of parties on the Police Staff Council, including the Association of Police Authorities on the Employers Side, supported the creation of a national pay and grading structure for police staff in their evidence to Winsor Part 2. Conference notes with concern that, in rejecting the idea of a national pay and grading structure for our members, Tom Winsor therefore chose to endorse a minority position on the Employers Side when coming to the conclusion that police staff pay and grading should continue to be decided at individual force level.

In light of the above, Conference calls upon the Service Group Executive to:

1)Maintain UNISON’s negotiating position that we are willing to enter into substantive, without prejudice, talks on the future of police staff pay and conditions, as long as the Employers Side is willing to entertain the creation of a national pay and grading structure for police staff in England and Wales as part of any negotiation.

2)Reject any negotiating approach from the Employers Side that relies only on delivering the negative recommendations from the Winsor Reports 1 and 2.

3)Seek to work with the other trade unions on the Police Staff Council to represent the best interests of police staff and their pay and conditions.

4)Seek to persuade key policing stakeholders of the integrity of UNISON’s aim of a national pay and grading structure for police staff in England and Wales.

5)Maintain the advice to branches that under no circumstances should branches enter into local negotiations on pay and conditions that undermine the Police Staff Council Handbook and pay structure and that all negotiations on Winsor should remain at Police Staff Council level.