Police staff to be balloted for industrial action

UNISON, Unite and GMB – three trade unions representing police staff – have today announced plans to ballot their police staff members in England and Wales for industrial action over a pay offer of just 1%.

Police staff involved in the dispute include Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs), 999 call takers and dispatchers, fingerprint experts, criminal justice unit clerks, custody and detention officers, and a wide range of operational and organisational support roles that keep police forces running.

The unions have asked for a 3% pay increase or £500, whichever is greater, as well as a 3% increase on standby allowance. This follows a pay freeze in 2011 and 2012 and just a 1% increase last year.  

In an informal ballot in the summer, members overwhelmingly rejected the 1% offer and indicated they were prepared to take industrial action.

Following the consultation, the employers refused to re-open negotiations with the unions.

UNISON General Secretary, Dave Prentis, said:

“UNISON police staff members are angry after a two-year pay freeze, followed by a miserly 1% increase last year. We are urging the employers to come back to the table and negotiate a fair pay deal. 

“As the Government’s savage cuts to policing continue to bite, police staff are being asked to do more and more as colleagues are made redundant. In a survey of our police staff members carried out in the summer, 40% said that they are now struggling to pay the bills. This is no way to treat the staff who keep our communities safe.”

Unite National Officer Fiona Farmer said:

“Police staff have faced years of below inflation pay increases and at the same time extensive cuts to their numbers in forces across England and Wales. Staff are angry and feel undervalued by a government that clearly does not recognise and reward these key public sector workers. Members voted overwhelmingly to reject the 1% offer and I would urge the employers to return to the negotiating table and deliver a decent pay rise.”

GMB National Officer Sharon Holder said:

“GMB Police Staff, following years of below-inflation pay cuts, have just about had enough. The offer of 1% from the Police Staff Council is viewed by them as not only derisory, but insulting, particularly as Support Staff roles are being replaced by Officers. Jobs for elite boys and girls in blue who can no longer work on the front-line to mask the actual figure of job losses in police forces.

“The PSC are urged to get back around the table, engage in meaningful negotiation with Support Staff representatives and seriously re-consider the offer of 1% before police forces are subject to industrial action before Christmas.”