Archive for December 8th, 2007

December 8th, 2007

One out, all out

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

Not got much time at the moment as it’s a busy weekend for me with one or two "home & colonials" to sort out.

So just a quick link to the BBC News website where they are discussing whether the British Police should have the right to strike. It makes for some interesting reading. A lot of people seem to equate the right to strike with violence and suggest that we go out on strike and they get the Army in to dish out a bit of ‘what we dished out to the miners’. Very strange, I was on the miners’ strike and I never clubbed a single miner over the head with a baton or trampled one underfoot. And  think if I was out on strike, I’d be tucked up at home rather than charging round the countryside getting in everyone’s way or provoking trouble.

Anyway, go & take a look, all human life is there.

Oh and the Police Federation have set up a link where you can add your postcode & it will select your local MP, you can then fill out a bog standard letter of complaint which I reproduce below. Personally, I think this type of thing is entirely pointless and they will just get electronically deleted. I think you’d get a better response with a personal letter to them. When was the last time a petition did any good?

I am writing to you as a serving police officer to express my anger and disgust at the underhanded behaviour displayed by the Home Secretary in reaction to the decision of the Police Arbitration Tribunal to award police officers a 2.5% pay increase.

It appears that Jaqui Smith has performed a far from magical sleight of hand in which the 2.5% will not be back dated to 1st September but instead will be paid from the 1st December, thus representing an insulting 1.9% increase – a lower award than any other emergency service or public sector body in England and Wales. What justification can there be for this action? If ACPO and the APA think that 2.5% is affordable and should be backdated to 1st September then why doesn’t the Home Secretary?

Has she forgotten the unique status of police officers who have forfeited the right to strike in order to serve the public? In the absence of this right, we don’t even have arbitration that is binding on the Home Secretary. Is she unaware that police officers face a level of restriction in their private life far exceeding that of any other public sector worker? Can she not understand the increasing level of danger police officers face each day? To compare us as she has with other public sector workers such as teachers and nurses shows a high degree of either misinformation or ignorance.

I wish to convey to you the sense of outrage that this action has created throughout the police service, a service that is able to function as it does due to the sense of duty and goodwill of officers. Whilst it is difficult to diminish that sense of duty the actions of the Home Secretary has put the goodwill in serious jeopardy. Officers face a prison sentence if they take strike action but for many of them this is a path they feel they may have to consider if this situation is not resolved.

I therefore seek your support in this matter by signing the Early Day Motions 494 and 512 and urge you to pass on to your colleagues in Westminster the strength of feeling of the police officers of England and Wales.