Defending National Collective Bargaining in Police and Justice

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2015 Police & Justice Service Group Conference
18 June 2015
Carried as Amended

Conference recognises that National collective bargaining has delivered decent pay and conditions for our members in police, probation and CAFCASS over many years and is something worth defending.

Following the general election result, national collective bargaining may come under pressure from employers and politicians who do not support a national focus to pay and conditions for public sector workers. National collective bargaining is easy to understand, fair, transparent and democratically controlled by trade union members.

Conference believes that national collective bargaining is worth defending because:

a)All staff are treated fairly and consistently, regardless of which employer they work for

b)Decent pay and conditions raise staff morale and attract talented people to join the police, probation and CAFCASS

c)Good terms and conditions are incorporated into staff contracts of employment

d)Union members get a say in their pay and conditions via their trade unions

e)Fairness and equality are protected

Conference is extremely concerned at the threats to national collective bargaining which have emerged in the police and probation services. Conference notes that Home Office funding for the Police Staff Council is only guaranteed until September 2015 and that the National Probation Service (NPS) has given notice that it wishes to dismantle the National Negotiating Council for the Probation Service and create separate machinery for NPS and the 21 Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs). Conference recognises that local bargaining risks downward pressure on the quality of our members’ terms and conditions in both police and probation.

Conference acknowledges the achievements of both the Police Staff Council and the Probation Service National Negotiating Council over the many years since their creation in 1996 and 2000 respectively. These achievements include:

i)The creation of single status pay and conditions agreements in 1996 and 2006

ii)Collective agreements on annual pay revalorisation for every year since 1996

iii)Comprehensive national handbooks of terms and conditions

iv)A partnership approach to collective bargaining

v)Joint dispute resolution machinery

vi)The maintenance of industrial peace for nearly 20 years

The Police Staff Council is currently involved in a major review of police staff pay and reward which it is hoped will deliver an offer which UNISON can recommend to members at ballot later this year. The National Negotiating Council is involved in seeking to settle the 2014 pay dispute with the assistance of ACAS.

Conference therefore instructs the Service Group Executive to work with the Police Staff Sector Committee and Probation Sector Committee, branches, activists and members to mount a campaign to:

1)Publicise to members the benefits of national collective bargaining;

2)Seek to defend national collective bargaining across all sectors within the Service Group;

3)Lobby key stakeholders, employers and politicians to retain support for national collective bargaining across all Service Group sectors;

4)Work with sister trade unions in all Sectors in defence of national collective bargaining.