13 Days Remaining

Friday 17th
posted by Paddy McGuffin in Britain

CIVILIAN police staff in England and Wales will be balloted for industrial action in protest at a “miserly” 1 per cent pay offer.

Unions said staff were angry at the real-terms pay cuts imposed across the public sector.

They are demanding a 3 per cent pay rise for police staff as well as a 3 per cent increase in allowances.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: “Unison police staff members are angry after a two-year pay freeze, followed by a miserly 1 per cent 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 an informal ballot earlier this year, staff overwhelmingly rejected the sub-inflationary offer.

A yes vote in the upcoming ballot could see industrial action before Christmas.

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.”

Staff involved in the dispute include community support officers, 999 operators, fingerprint experts, criminal justice unit clerks, custody and detention officers, and a wide range of operational and organisational support roles.

GMB national officer Sharon Holder said the 1 per cent offer was viewed by staff as “not only derisory, but insulting, particularly as support staff roles are being replaced by officers.”

She added: “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 ballot is further evidence of wide-spread anger over the coalition’s savage cuts to public sector pay and jobs.

On Monday, NHS staff including midwives and nurses went on strike over pay and on Wednesday civil servants took action as part of a long-running dispute with the government over pay and job cuts.