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Wed 22 February 2012

UNISON urges councillors to end compulsory redundancy threat to police staff jobs in Strathclyde

UNISON Police Staff have called on elected members on Strathclyde Police Authority to remove the threat of compulsory redundancy when they meet in Glasgow City Chambers tomorrow morning (Thursday 23 February 2012). The union is concerned that a proposed decision by SPA to end a voluntary severance scheme on 31 December this year could pave the way for compulsory redundancies. The new Scottish police force is due to come into being in April 2013 – which leaves three months in which job cuts could be forced on police staff.

Stevie Diamond, Chair of UNISON Strathclyde Police and Fire branch said:
“We are calling on the democratically elected councillors on the Police Authority to support us in having the voluntary scheme extended to 31 March 2013 – and end this imminent threat of compulsory redundancy.

“Police Staff in Strathclyde have lived under a veil of uncertainty for the past 2 years. There is much more uncertainty to come.

“We have borne the majority of cuts on existing police budgets. We know that more job losses are in the pipeline as the Police Service of Scotland takes shape. The prospect of our voluntary severance scheme ending three months before the new force is due to come into being does nothing to decrease the anxiety felt by all Police Staff members of the Force who face an increasingly unclear future.

“We already face losing posts, attacks on terms and conditions through harmonisation and disruption.”

By proposing that VSS2 – the current voluntary severance scheme – will finish on 31 December 2012, Strathclyde Police has opened to question whether compulsory redundancy could be utilised to reduce Police Staff numbers prior to the formation of the new Scottish force. Unions have discussed the extension of VSS2 with Strathclyde Police. The expectation was that the scheme would be extended to 31 March 2013, the eve of the transfer of staff to the Police Service of Scotland.

UNISON is calling on Strathclyde Police Authority councillors to extend the voluntary scheme and so ensure that there will be no compulsory redundancies of Police Staff in Strathclyde before the transfer to the new force.

ENDS

For further information please contact:
Stevie Diamond, Chairperson, UNISON Strathclyde Police and Fire branch - 07717 753 914

Note to editors

1. UNISON is Scotland’s largest trade union representing over 162,000 members working in the public sector in Scotland, and represents police staffs in Scotland.

2. UNISON Scotland Evidence to Scottish Parliament Committees on the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Bill published in Feb 2012

Evidence to Local Government Committee:
http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/response/ Police&FireReform_LocalGovtCtte_Feb2012.pdf

Evidence to Justice Committee:
http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/response/ Police&FireReform_JusticeCtte_Feb2012.pdf

Evidence to Finance Committee:
http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/response/ Police&FireReform_FinanceCtte_Feb2012.pdf

3. UNISON Scotland’s document ‘Future of Policing in Scotland - Response to Scottish Government consultation’ published in May 2011:
http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/response/Response_%20FutureofPolicinginScotland_May2011.pdf

4. UNISON Scotland commissioned Stewart Research to examine the benefits of police staff – the report ‘Civilianisation of Police in Scotland’ was published in May 2009:
http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/police/CivilianisationofPoliceFinalReport.pdf

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