Wiltshire Police Authority to freeze civilian wages

Wiltshire Police Authority is to freeze the salaries of civilian staff, while serving police officers will get a pay rise, it has been announced.

The authority denied it had broken any promise to increase some police staff's pay, but said the move could potentially divide employees.

A union spokesman said no negotiation had taken place.

Wiltshire Police has already been told it will lose £1.1m from its budget this year to help tackle national debt.

'No negotiation'

Michael Murphy, from Unison, said: "We are quite astounded because this was a national pay agreement that was agreed by the chairman of the police authority on 8 February.

"No negotiation has taken place with us, it has just been arbitrarily enforced and to the best of my knowledge no other police force in the country has received such a threat."

Chris Hoare, chairman of Wiltshire Police Authority, said: "Unless we take action where we can we will not be able to have a balanced budget and we will suffer, which could affect the service the police are able to provide.

"But I do understand it is divisive or can appear to be divisive among teams that work very well together throughout most of their working lives."

Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Brian Moore said because the police officers' pay award was confirmed by the Home Secretary, it will be paid.

He said he would not be accepting an increase himself.

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