GMB, UNISON and Unite want PCCs to agree employment charter

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The UK’s three biggest unions are calling on newly-elected police and crime commissioners and chief constables to sign up to a new ‘Police Staff Employment Charter’.

UNISON, Unite and the GMB – who together represent police staff across England and Wales – have jointly produced the charter, which seeks to promote fairness, equality and accountability across police forces and between police workers.

In signing up to the charter, police and crime commissioners and chief constables agree to prevent a two-tier workforce, by ensuring the same terms and conditions for staff, regardless of where they are employed.

Signees also agree to:

  • Maintain national collective bargaining for police staff
  • Offer new starters the opportunity to join the local government pension scheme employed by their forces
  • Enforce a single job evaluation scheme, and pay and grading system, for all staff employed by the force, and
  • Seek accreditation from the Living Wage Foundation to become a living wage employer – for in-house and contracted staff

Ben Priestley, UNISON national officer for police staff said: “By signing up to the charter, police and crime commissioners and chief constables will show staff across police forces that they are committed to treating their staff fairly and equally.

“Police staff rightly expect the same pay, terms and conditions, whether they work in Luton or Liverpool. This gives our police service the stability it needs so staff can get on with the job of keeping the public safe.

“This charter represents a promise to staff that they will be treated fairly and equally, regardless of where they work. This is something that police and crime commissioners and chief constables need to take seriously.”

Sharon Holder, Police staff National Officer for GMB said:

“The absence from last week’s PCC election of a clear political mandate only serves to show the extent to which PCCs need to demonstrate their fundamental commitment to being a worthy and good employer, and signing the employment Charter is a means to doing just that.

“GMB believe that PCCs who agree to sign-up to the Joint Police staff employment charter will set a positive tone for a good working relationship with police staff, who become their employees from tomorrow.”

Unite national officer, Fiona Farmer said: “Last week’s elections of the Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) give an opportunity for a new and radical chapter in employment relations for all staff.

“We need to roll back the tide of privatisation that is creeping into police functions that could mean every service, except the power of arrest, is run by private companies intent on driving down staff pay, and terms and conditions. The PCCs should reject the concept of a two-tier workforce.

“The public don’t want their police forces privatised as they fear that this will seriously erode the fight against crime and as a first step in the right direction, we are asking all newly elected PCCs to sign up to this charter.”

* Unite has welcomed the announcement that the new West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner PCC, Bob Jones, intends to halt the privatisation of core police services.

Unite national officer Fiona Farmer said: “The threat to privatise core police functions, except the power of arrest, in the West Midlands has been halted by today’s excellent decision by Bob Jones.
“The privatisation of police services would have gravely dented staff morale; led to the fragmentation of services by private companies in pursuit of big profits; created a two-tier workforce; and resulted in seriously eroding the fight against crime.
“Unite had campaigned strongly against the misguided attempt by the former police authority to proceed with privatisation that could have seen services, such as 999 call handling, neighbourhood patrols and the forensics service, being handed over to the private sector.
“This is a victory for common sense and Unite calls on the other newly- elected police and crime commissioners to follow Bob Jones’ courageous example and reject the privatisation route that is an anathema to the general public.”

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