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Staff unions re-open pay talks after 5% set for officers

Police staff are set to have their pay deal re-negotiated to keep them in line with officers.

Talks are set to begin within days between employers and unions representing the civilian workers following the 5% deal set for officers.

Police committees in Unison, Unite and the GMB are deciding their positions ahead of a return to the negotiating table as early as next week.

A settlement was agreed for April this year which gave staff a 2.1% increase - but with it came a clause that aimed to prevent staff getting less than uniformed colleagues.

The re-opener clause sets out that:

"In the event that a PRRB annual award is agreed from 1 September 2022 in excess of a 3% award, as part of a single year settlement, the Employers’ Side is prepared to re-open pay negotiations on the 17- month police staff pay award to ensure that police staff do not suffer any detriment to their police officer colleagues.”

But there are already indications that any new deal is unlikely to be in line with inflation.

Ministers were warned that support staff covering everything from front desks to analysis work could walk out on strike.

Laurence Turner, GMB Head of Research and Policy, said the shortage of workers in the economy meant some staff could simply leave.

He warned:"An offer below inflation is a cut by another name. Recruitment and retention problems are now severe across the public sector and ministers are failing to invest in the services that the economic recovery needs. 

“There should be no doubt - everyone has their breaking point, and without a fundamental change we will not be able to deliver the public services that the country needs."

Staff could follow West Yorkshire Police's helpdesk team which is being consulted over strike action.

The threat of strike action is real according to Unison’s General Secretary, Christina McAnea.

She said: “It’s a last resort, when the hard work that goes into negotiations isn’t met with fair offers from employers.”

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