Members should think seriously about vote on industrial rights says Fed chair
South Wales Police Federation Chair Steve Treharne has urged members to think “seriously” and cast a vote on the issue of industrial rights
Addressing the Federation’s national conference earlier today, Steve said: “The Federation recently decided to ballot members on the issue of industrial rights. There will be a significant piece of education setting out the details and what this means for officers. This vote will be of great significance.
“The main driver has been the lack of a truly independent pay review mechanism, which has stacked the cards against equitable and fair pay raises. Voting in the forthcoming ballot is an essential way for members to have a voice in whether the Federation should seek industrial rights for officers in an attempt to better conditions in terms of employment.”
South Wales Police Federation Chair Steve Treharne.
Steve was clear that colleagues are not being asked to vote to take industrial action but to give the Federation a mandate to negotiate with the government on the thorny issue of police officer rights. “We understand there may be divided views and therefore it is important that we hear your views,” added Steve.
The session on industrial rights also heard from Gemma Fox, Deputy National Secretary of the Police Federation of England and Wales, who lambasted the “degradation” to police pay over a number of years.
“Police pay has risen at barely half the rate of other average UK employer employees since 2000 – and we are an outlier, with other protective services and public sector bodies, due to our inability to take action,” she said.
Deputy National Chair Tiff Lynch added that “fair pay and a seat at the negotiating table” was necessary to making police officers feel valued and stopping them leaving the service. And Lord John Hendy KC said it was “blindingly obvious” that the bigger the vote in favour of the restoration of collective bargaining rights, the “more force [the Federation’s] arguments are going to have with the Government.”
However, Mark Fairhurst, National Chair of the Prison Officers Association, sounded a warning that patience and determination would be key. The POA has been calling for industrial rights since 1994 and so far without success.