Police staff set to strike over pay on 22 December

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The Northwest Probation and CAFCASS branch of UNISON send their support to police staff members working for forces in England and Wales* who will stage a 24-hour strike starting at 00.01 hours on Monday 22 December. This is in support of a campaign to re-open pay talks to improve the employers’ 1% pay offer for 2014.

This will be followed by four weeks of action short of strike action, from Monday 5 January 2015 to Sunday 1 February 2015, in the form of a ban on voluntary overtime.

UNISON members in the police service work in jobs such as 999 call takers, police community support officers, scenes of crime officers, fingerprint experts, financial investigators, detention officers, crime reduction officers, crime analysts, enquiry desk officers, trainers, criminal justice clerks, and a wide range of vital operational and organisational support roles.

60% voted yes for industrial action and 80% for action short of strike action in a ballot which closed on 2 December 2014.

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said:

“Police staff have been hit hard by the cost of living crisis. Since 2010, two years of pay freeze and a below inflation pay deal last year has seen the value of their pay decline by 13%.

“It is rare for police staff to take industrial action and the strike is a clear sign that they’ve had enough. For many of our members it will be the first time they have ever taken industrial action over pay. The last time police members went on strike in relation to pay was 25 years ago in 1989.

“Police staff have had a raw deal. All we’re asking for is fair pay. Our members’ contribution to community safety is immense and it needs to be reflected in their pay.

“Earlier this year, we asked for a 3%, or £500, increase (whichever is the greater) on police staff pay points. The police employers responded with another 1% offer which is just not acceptable.

“We are calling on the police employers to return to the negotiating table to improve the current pay offer in order to stop this dispute from escalating.”

UNISON represents 30,000 police staff in England and Wales.