North East police staff vote in favour of strike action over pay dispute

Thousands of police staff are due to go on strike in a pay dispute after union workers voted to take industrial action.

The result of a ballot by staff, including PCSOs, scenes of crime and police call handlers, was announced on Tuesday and it is believed there are around 2,500 union members in Northumbria, Durham and Cleveland police who could be affected.

A row developed over a pay dispute where staff were offered a 1% increase but union members had backed calls for a 3% pay rise, 85% of Unison members backed a ballot over industrial action and 60% of members have voted to strike if the issue can’t be resolved.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said:

“These results send a clear message that after two years of pay freeze and last year’s below inflation pay rise, police staff have had enough and that they are now ready to take industrial action over pay.

“We are calling on the police employers to return to the negotiating table to improve the current pay offer.”

The union’s police sector committee is set to meet to consider the ballot results, and discuss the next move.

Members of the GMB union also voted in favour of strikes, and national officer Sharon Holder said:

“Following the conclusion of the ballots, unions will now meet and announce the planned industrial action.”

Peter Chapman, a Unison representative and lead for police staff in the North East, previously said:

“This is not something that our members want to do.

“It’s not action taken lightly and police staff can never be described as militant.

“It will include PCSOs, people who take finger prints and scenes of crime.

“The police force can’t run without it’s staff and PCSOs are part of our union.

“They are popular, they are effective if there’s a strike by PCSOs it will have a noticeable public impact.”

Source –  Newcastle Evening Chronicle,  03 Dec 2014



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