Police will vote for right to strike in New Year over pay dispute

POLICE officers across North Somerset and Somerset will be asked if they want to go on strike following a pay dispute with the Government.

POLICE officers across North Somerset and Somerset will be asked if they want to go on strike following a pay dispute with the Government.

Historically, police are bound by law not to take any type of industrial action due to their important position within society.

But North Somerset's Police Federation chairman, Paul Green, has accused the Government of 'losing sight of reality' after its decision not to backdate a 2.5 per cent pay rise for police across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

A mediator between the police and the Government recommended that pay be backdated to September 1, rather than the start of this month.


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This would give each officer an additional £200, costing the Government £40million nationally.

Mr Green says money is not the issue but the Government's decision not take the recommendation of the Police Negotiating Board.

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He said: "People will begin to leave the organisation because they are already demoralised over constant target setting, last minute changes to tours of duty and cancellation of rest days."

The Police Federation is a representative body of 140,000 police officers from the rank of constable to chief inspector.

It is not a trade union and officers do not have the same rights as ordinary employees in terms of industrial action.

The national body has also called on the Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, who made the decision, to step down.

Mr Green says officers in North Somerset will not be balloted until the New Year.

In the meantime, he added: "A lot of jobs the police are asked to do are on good will, without pay or benefits, and I can see people saying no."

But he said there are no plans to strike because officers do not want their dispute with the Government to affect residents.

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