Vital police staff, such as 999 call handlers, are being urged to reject a ‘pitiful and insulting’ 2.1 per cent pay offer over a 17-month period, as the country faces the biggest cost of living crisis since the 1970s.
Unite the union is calling on its thousands of members in England and Wales (but not those in the Metropolitan Police) to reject the offer which would see the wages of some staff rise by just over £1 a day. The employers’ side of the Police Staff Council has proposed a 2.1 per cent offer to run from April 1, 2022 until August 31, 2023. The consultative ballot opens next week and closes on Friday, April 29.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “This is a pitiful and insulting offer to workers who kept this service running smoothly during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Employers need to stop trying to make workers shoulder the burden of this cost of living crisis,” she added. “Unite will give 100 per cent support to our members in whatever action they decide to take to fight this real terms pay cut.”
Besides the 2.1 per cent offer, the employers’ proposals include a £250 consolidated pay increase for certain employees on the pay spine; a 2.1 per cent increase on standby allowance from 1 April 2022 until 31 August 2023 from £31.57 to £32.23; and an increase in the minimum annual leave entitlement to 24 days and 29 days (after five years) from 1 April 2022.
Unite national officer Jim Kennedy said, “We calculate that if you take in to account all the elements of the offer it amounts to just £1.15-a-day before tax on mid-pay bands, so that’s why we are calling for a massive vote to reject this terrible offer.
“If our members do eventually proceed to a strike ballot, it could mean 999 and 111 call handlers, scene of crime forensic staff and custody suite employees taking action which would highlight the pivotal role our skilled members make in the delivery of police services,” he added.
Unite is dedicated to advancing the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and will fight back against any efforts to diminish workers’ living standards.
By Shaun Noble