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Police staff protest over one per cent pay rise offer

Police staff in England and Wales are to be balloted over industrial action – in protest at a one per cent pay rise offer, unions have said.

Police community support officers, fingerprint experts, forensic investigators and back office staff could all go on strike if they vote to do so. Staff including 999 call handlers, custody and detention officers could also take industrial action after the vote.

Members of police staff make up around 40 per cent of the police service.

More than 30,000 police staff belonging to the GMB, Unison and Unite unions will be balloted.

The unions said they had asked for a 3% pay rise or £500, whichever is greater, as well as a 3% increase in allowances paid to staff for being on standby.

A Unison spokesman said the ballot will ask staff whether they want to strike or take action just short of striking – such as working to rule.

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.

And he added: “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.”

Mr Prentis added: “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.”

The union’s national officer, Fiona Farmer, added: “Staff are angry and feel undervalued by a government that clearly does not recognise and reward these key public sector workers … I would urge the employers to return to the negotiating table and deliver a decent pay rise.”

The Home Office did not comment, saying it was a matter for individual forces.

Date posted: October 24, 2014

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