West Midlands Police officers demand end to 'no strike' rule

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West Midlands Police officers demand end to 'no strike' rule

Post by Arthur ASCII » Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:44 pm

Funny how people's opinions change when THEY have problems isn't it? :slzip:
West Midlands Police officers demand end to 'no strike' rule

By Brett Gibbons Mar 30 2012

MORE than 90 per cent of rank-and-file officers in the West Midlands are demanding the right to strike in protest at proposed government reforms.

A poll of Police Federation members has called for a legal challenge to the ruling which forbids officers from striking and taking other forms of industrial action.

The resounding online vote, part of a nationwide survey, follows the publication of the second part of the government’s Winsor review of police pay and conditions.

Ninety-four per cent of West Midlands officers said they would be prepared to work to rule if they gained the right to take industrial action, although just 50 per cent said they would withdraw labour completely.

The controversial review includes a restructuring of salary grades, threats to pension deals and changes to terms and conditions which would make it easier to make officers redundant.

“Our members are saying that, if they are to be treated like employees, they deserve the same rights and legal protection – and that includes the right to strike,” said Ian Edwards, chairman of the West Midlands Police Federation, revealing the poll outcome.

“Officers have always accepted restrictions placed on them through regulations and, in return, successive governments have respected our unique position in society.

“But members are saying enough is enough because they feel there has been a deliberate and sustained attack by the current government, which seems intent on dismantling a police service that is the envy of the world.’’

Mr Edwards said morale was low.

“It is an attack on the service and the way it is set up,” he said. “It is quite obvious the government wants to change the status of the rank-and-file officer and make it easier to privatise the police force.

“We are not militant but we feel very uneasy about the proposed changes. If members give us the mandate to stand up and fight, we will stand up and fight.”

West Midlands officers plan to join a rally in London before the federation conference in May.

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Re: West Midlands Police officers demand end to 'no strike'

Post by Arthur ASCII » Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:01 am

No comments anyone?

I'm surprised that a topic that may have such seismic repercussions has so far been ignored.

What do our Police Officer friends on this message board think of West Mids stance? Has Winsor pushed you too far?
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Re: West Midlands Police officers demand end to 'no strike'

Post by dingdangdo » Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:13 am

Doesn't affect me because I'm in Scotland and not sure if there are any English or Welsh PCs left on the site.

The Polfed are actually balloting all their members according to a recent press release:

"The Police Federation of England and Wales national committee today voted unanimously to hold a ballot of its membership on the question of whether police officers want full industrial rights. They also agreed to hold an event in central London before the Police Federation’s annual conference in May to highlight the unprecedented attack on policing by this government and the consequences that these cuts will have for public safety.

At the meeting of the Police Federation’s Joint Central Committee today, the decision was taken to ballot the entire membership as to whether they wish the Police Federation of England and Wales to seek full industrial rights. The Federation’s 135,000 members will be provided with all relevant information and the ballot will be held as soon as possible. In tandem, the Police Federation will explore all the consequences, including the legal position, with regards to police officers obtaining full industrial rights.

At the same meeting the national committee called upon the Home Secretary to reject Tom Winsor’s Part Two report published last week. They announced plans for an event to be held in central London before the Police Federation annual conference in May, in order that police officers, families, friends and supporters can show their strength of feeling against the budget cuts being applied to policing and the consequences for public safety.

This will be discussed further next week at a meeting of the 43 Police Federation Joint Branch Board Chairs and Secretaries."
Last edited by dingdangdo on Sun Apr 01, 2012 3:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: West Midlands Police officers demand end to 'no strike'

Post by Arthur ASCII » Sun Apr 01, 2012 12:54 pm

Most enlightening. Thanks very much.

I'll see if I can pop along to the rally to give some (unofficial) support to my Police Officer colleagues.

Any other PCSO's thinking along the same lines?
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Re: West Midlands Police officers demand end to 'no strike'

Post by GlynB » Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:18 pm

Along with full industrial rights come full employment risks.

Employees are much easier to dismiss for conduct,qualification and capability, as well as the ever present "some other substantial reason not to mention redundancy, than are holders of the office of constable

The status of constable carries both responsibility and obligation but is also ensures greater protection from dismissal than a contract of employment. Over the years those who hold the office of constable have succeeded, in my view quite rightly, in attaining many of the advantages of employees. Arbitrary and unjust working practices have been successfully challenged in Employment Tribunals despite constables not being employees. However, this is in addition to the special status that the office confers.

Should officers wish to be regarded like all other employees I assume they understand the risks. The right to strike is a limited one in law and it is used only as a last resort by any employee since, should it fail to deliver, it becomes an empty threat.

Of course, should the Federation Members vote for this right, there remains the hurdle of getting the law changed. Something one suspects HM Government is unlikely to do. Failing to get such change would mean strikes would be illegal and, as now, any holder of the office of constable who withdrew their labour wold be committing an illegal act.

The ballot itself, like most strike ballots, may be part of a strategy to demonstrate depth of feeling but it may misfire. If the vote is not for the motion it will weaken the hand of the Federation. If it is for the motion and it does not produce the desired effect then the Federation will be between a rock and a hard place.If they do nothing they have lost and if they call a strike they break the law.

A difficult conundrum but I guess we all appreciate that in these changed times a new apparoch may be felt necessary
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Re: West Midlands Police officers demand end to 'no strike'

Post by Big Brother » Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:13 am

GlynB wrote:Along with full industrial rights come full employment risks.

Employees are much easier to dismiss for conduct,qualification and capability, as well as the ever present "some other substantial reason not to mention redundancy, than are holders of the office of constable


The government are trying to push through all of that anyway. Make cops employees in terms of pay and conditions, but refuse their right to strike.

Whatever the vote is it won't happen, either because the government don't change the law or because everyone wakes up and realises the Fed has got absolutely no backbone.
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Re: West Midlands Police officers demand end to 'no strike'

Post by dingdangdo » Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:59 pm

Arthur ASCII wrote:I'll see if I can pop along to the rally to give some (unofficial) support to my Police Officer colleagues.
http://www.polfed.org/mediacenter/4E6EF ... 9F5723.asp

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"The Police Federation of England and Wales will hold an event in central London on May 10th 2012 to highlight the unprecedented attack on policing by this government and the consequences that these cuts will have for public safety. More details to follow next week."

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Re: West Midlands Police officers demand end to 'no strike'

Post by xbob89 » Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:27 pm

Not sure how accurate an online poll is going to be. It states 90% of West Midlands Police want the right to strike but it seems really to mean 90% of those who decided to take part in the online poll which might be 10 people.....

Anyway, I dont agree with cops or indeed anyone who is employed to protect the public going in strike.
That includes NHS staff, PCSOs, fire service etc.

When police demand the right to strike its almost sounds like them trying to hold the public to ransom....

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Re: West Midlands Police officers demand end to 'no strike'

Post by Arthur ASCII » Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:44 pm

xbob89 wrote:When police demand the right to strike its almost sounds like them trying to hold the public to ransom....
And the Government KNOW that, that's why they jerk Police Officers around so much.

Police Officers in many other countries have the right to strike, yet anarchy doesn't rule.
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