Staff from Hertfordshire Police are taking industrial action on one of the busiest days in the run-up to Christmas.
The members of Herts Police Staff UNISON are striking for 24 hours on Monday December 22 in a dispute over pay.
This is the first time police staff have taken strike action over pay since 1989. Staff pay was frozen in 2010 and 2011 and a below inflation pay deal last year saw the value of pay decline by 13% since 2010.
Members are frustrated with the 1% offer when unions have asked for a 3% increase on all police staff pay points. Herts Police staff say national employers have ‘point blank refused’ to engage in any negotiations. Steph Raddings, chair of Herts Police Staff UNISON said: “At a time when demand for high quality public services is increasing, it is a false economy for the National Employers to continue to suppress pay, which destroys morale and is making it harder to recruit and retain quality staff.
“At some point something will have to give and it is the public of Hertfordshire who will suffer.
“This campaign for fair pay for our police staff is a campaign for all of us who rely on the police service. “It is disappointing that national employers won’t agree to meet.
“Police staff are struggling to make ends meet at a time when they are being pressured to perform to high standards with increasing workloads and less resources caused by the continual Government cuts in police budgets.
“UNISON only takes strike action once every other avenue of influence and negotiation has been exhausted.
“It is not a decision taken lightly.
“This dispute is not with Hertfordshire Constabulary but with the national employers board.
“Staff that voted to strike includes police community support officers, custody staff, emergency call takers and radio despatchers, scenes of crime officers and many other vital support roles that work alongside police officers to keep the public of Hertfordshire safe.” The 24 hour strike will be followed by four weeks of action from Monday January 5 to Sunday February 1, during which there will be a ban on voluntary overtime.