Police support staff set to strike unless pay deal is reached

Police are appealing for witnesses to the theft
Police are appealing for witnesses to the theft

Civilian police staff are set to strike next Friday unless an agreement can be reached on disputes over pay.

Herts Police Unison members in supporting roles such as detention officers, scenes of crime officers, crime analysts and enquiry desk officers will take part in the industrial action for 24 hours from 7am on January 23.

Also among those set to strike are PCSOs and 999 call centre operators.

An initial strike planned for Monday, December 22 was suspended to allow further negotiations between the union and the employers.

Liz Davidson, secretary for the Herts branch of the union, said: “We are still in negotiations with management over an improved offer.

“We are hopeful of an offer being made during the week – if we have an offer that comes from management, we will then go to our members with that for a decision.

“We are fully committed to strike action on the 23rd if the matter is not sorted.”

A spokesman for the Herts force said: “We have plans in place to manage any staffing shortfalls created as a result of any potential industrial action and will be working to maintain our emergency response service and other services to the community if this action does go ahead.

“If the industrial action does go ahead, we would appreciate if people could refrain from making non-emergency or non-urgent calls on the day of any industrial action and people are reminded that information is available on the police website www.herts.police.uk.

“Hertfordshire Constabulary fully recognises the right that members of UNISON have to take part in strike action and the Constabulary will work to facilitate lawful picketing whilst ensuring that people can go about their daily business without obstruction.”

In other news, Herts Police experienced technical problems with calls to its 999 and non-emergency number 101 on Monday afternoon. 
The fault caused delays in people getting through to the service, as calls had to be redirected to Bedfordshire Police. 
The force worked to correct the faults, with lines working fully in three hours. 
A police spokesman confirmed work is ongoing to prevent the error from happening in future.