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Date: Friday 21 March 2014

UNISON Scotland ballot for potential strike action as industrial relations break down with Police Scotland

UNISON Scotland are writing to police staff today (21 March 2014) to tell them that trust between Police Scotland and the all staff trade unions have broken down. And that they will be urging members to vote for industrial action when they ballot them later this month.

UNISON Scotland have 3 issues of concern:

The ongoing closures of 4 contact command and control centres which take 999 calls from the public. The first of these proposed closures is Dumfries Force Control and Service Centre which is scheduled to happen by the end of May 2014 with the loss of 34 jobs.

From the 1 April 2014 Police staff are having their redundancy terms reduced

And over 1,700 police staff across the country are having their annual leave restricted due to the Commonwealth Games this summer.

UNISON have been trying to discuss these important issues with Police Scotland for over a year.

George McIrvine, secretary of UNISON police staff scotland branch said:

“Our members across Scotland are telling us loud and clear that enough is enough. Staff are stressed, over worked and under pressure. We will ballot them to gauge their strength of feeling on potential strike action. The employer have given us no choice. They are not providing the unions with answers to reasonable questions which we have consistently raised for many months now.”

Gerry Crawley, UNISON regional officer said

‘Police staff are a hard working, loyal, and experienced. They take pride in keeping communities safe. But this whole episode has made them worried, frightened and angry. The uncertainty of what’s next is demoralising. The Scottish Police Authority and Police Scotland need to realise that UNISON members are not prepared to take the brunt of these brutal cuts any longer

‘Scottish Police Authority and the Police Scotland are simply not listening to us. Over 300 jobs are at risk in contact command and control centres. Over 1700 staff are having their lead restricted this has left unions no choice but to consult our members on potential strike action”

ENDS

For further information contact:
Gerry Crawley UNISON regional officer for police 07958 121805
George McIrvine secretary of UNISON police staff scotland 07842 542677
Danny Phillips, UNISON’s communication officer, 07944 664110

Notes to Editors:

The closure of contact command and control centres which take 999 calls from the public are on going. The proposed closure of Dumfries Force Control and Service Centre is scheduled to happen by the end of May with the loss of 34 jobs. Staff are being told their will be no compulsory redundancies, however the only redeployment options being offered to staff are limited to the central belt over 100 miles away. The future closures of the Stirling, Glenrothes and Aberdeen Centres are being addressed in a manner that causes undue worry and stress for UNISON members with the loss of job security and relocation

As well as these restructures and more in the pipeline that will affect many UNISON members, the Voluntary Redundancy/Early Retirement policy due to come into force on 1 April 2014 contains a new Supernumerary Policy which limits UNISON members to a maximum period of 4 weeks (not the 12 weeks that the policy claims) before losing the entitlement to £10,000 for Voluntary Redundancy or losing the entitlement to 4 Compensatory Added Years for Early Retirement. The Unions argued for a guaranteed job offer but the employer refused this. This new policy will leave our members in a virtual compulsory redundancy situation. This is unacceptable

Finally, over 1,700 Police Staff across the country are having their annual leave restricted due to the Commonwealth Games this summer. UNISON and the other Unions submitted a financial claim for compensation for those colleagues who will have their leave restricted. This claim was submitted last year. The employer has still to address this issue formally with the Trade Unions. The Commonwealth Games are only four months away and our members deserve clarity and an answer to our claim.



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