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22 November 2012
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
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."
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 believes 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."