UK

Police staff in ballot over pay offer

A Police Community Support Officer Image copyright Met Police
Image caption The staff to be balloted include Police Community Support Officers

Police staff in England and Wales are to be balloted over industrial action in protest at a 1% pay rise offer, unions have said.

The staff include community support officers and fingerprint experts - but not police officers, who are not allowed to strike.

More than 30,000 police staff belonging to the GMB, Unison and Unite unions will be balloted.

The Home Office did not comment, saying it was a matter for individual forces.

The unions said they had asked for a 3% pay rise or £500, whichever is greater, as well as a 3% increase in allowances paid to staff for being on standby.

A Unison spokesman told the BBC questions on the ballot could include whether staff want to strike or take "action short of strike action" such as working to rule.

'Savage cuts'

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: "Unison police staff members are angry after a two-year pay freeze, followed by a miserly 1% increase last year.

"We are urging the employers to come back to the table and negotiate a fair pay deal."

And he added: "As the government's savage cuts to policing continue to bite, police staff are being asked to do more and more as colleagues are made redundant."

The unions said the staff who would be balloted included Police Community Support Officers, 999 call handlers, custody and detention officers, and people in a "wide range of operational and organisational support roles".