Branch News


The National Conference was held at the Brighton Centre again this year.  We split the week up between us in branch.  Penny Mitchell went Tuesday, Wednesday, Jo Sykes went Wednesday, Thursday and Kevin Fuller went Thursday and Friday.  For once it was a conference that did not just focus on one area of the membership, usually the NHS.  This conference spent much more time on issues that affect all branches and services within the Union.  There were some very interesting debates and feelings ran high on a few occasions as delegates made there presence felt to the National Executive.  There was great focus on the young members, which is most welcome.  As a branch we do not have as many young members as some services but we are gaining more year on year.  If you are under 25 and want to understand what a union is all about then please contact us for a chat.  The young are our present as well as our future.   Funding was very much on the agenda.  Delegates made it very clear to the National Executive that their branches need their funds and need to control their own funds at branch level to spend on their members who provided the funds in the first place.  They were reminded that this was a member led union.  They got the message. 

It was clear from delegates that all services across the board are being decimated and that those left are having to cope with more and more. This is why it is even more important than ever to be part of a union.  There was a very interesting, compassionate and rousing speech by a lady called Dr Loretta Johnson who is currently the secretary-treasurer of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). A very inspirational woman. Six decades of being an activist and still going and now taking on Mr Trump, known as number 45 rather than his name! Her end sentence left you in no doubt of her capabilities, “I’ve been a fighter all my life. If you see me in a fight with a bear, help the bear!” If you get an opportunity look her up. 

There is much more on the goings on at NDC on the National Unison website. Check it out. Some of it makes interesting reading.

Unison members recruit a friend in March Campaign

posted 23 Feb 2018, 01:09 by Alan Gates

Incredibly one reason why people don't join a union is that they have never been asked!  As a member of Unison here's your chance to put that right and explain the benefits of union membership.

From 1st to 31st March 2018 if you recruit a friend or work colleague you will receive a £10.00 voucher.  Not only that but the new member will also received a £10.00 voucher.

In addition participating members and new members will be entered into a prize draw.  The winner will receive a Samsung tablet!

See full details/ T & Cs in attached document below.

Police Staff Pay Offer - or not!

posted 7 Dec 2017, 03:26 by Unison Sussex Police & Justice Staff Branch   [ updated 7 Dec 2017, 03:30 ]

We have sent the pay offer or lack of it out to all members but have added to website for your information. 

Click on the link to read the whole report



posted 28 Nov 2017, 02:09 by Unison Sussex Police & Justice Staff Branch

Our ballot of members concerning the change to unsocial hours policy in Sussex Police has now closed. We have validated the votes cast and can make you aware of the result as follow.
Ballot Turnout - 34.2%
Votes cast for YES - 63.6%
Votes cast for NO - 36.4%
Number of void votes due to duplicate entry - 14.
Thank you to all those who took part in this very important democratic process. We will now pass the result to the organisation and work with them towards implementation. 
Nothing will change in your current allowance even after implementation, which is scheduled for April 2018. The full effect of the change will not come into complete effect until April 2019.


posted 8 Nov 2017, 02:52 by Jo Sykes   [ updated 15 Nov 2017, 02:38 by Unison Sussex Police & Justice Staff Branch ]

Members Ballot       

Information concerning the Unsocial Hours 


This document is intended to give you, the member, an overview and understanding of the proposed changes that Sussex Police wish to make to your Contract of Employment, concerning how they will pay you an Allowance to work Unsocial Hours in the future. It is intended that this is the information you will need to properly cast your vote in the ballot being organised by the branch.

The issue is quite complex so the document is unfortunately somewhat long but we have tried to provide as much information as we can to give you the satisfaction that you are aware of the facts and can therefore vote with that understanding. It is vital for all concerned that you exercise your vote.

Within this document we have referred to previous updates circulated to our members. You will find copies of those documents on our website, They are in a file format called “PDF” so, as with this document, you must ensure that if you want to read them you have the appropriate free software on your device.

Project History

As we have outlined in previous circulations to you, this project has been in being for nearly 6 years now. In that time we have worked to get a reasonable proposal onto the table for you to vote on.

There have been three phases to the Force project on Unsocial Hours which they wrapped up into a Pay Review:

    Phase 1 - Equal pay Audit 2009/2011

    Phase 2 – Pay and Grading – 2011/12

    Phase 3 – Police Staff Shift Pay Allowances – 2013/17

Obviously we are now into the Phase 3 of the project and the force set Terms of Reference for the project which we agreed to work with.

The Terms of Reference which have been agreed and also form the principles of the project are.

    Fairness – staff should be compensated for the unsocial hours worked

    Transparency – existing shift pattern payments are unnecessarily complex and ambiguous for staff and managers to manage effectively.

    Sustainability –the proposed new framework of unsocial hours pay will give operational resilience at peak times and the ability to future proof to a change in demand profile.

    Efficiency – managing the complexity of the current structure is bureaucratic and time consuming

Our negotiations have been based around these terms and they are the basis of our efforts to get the most favourable deal for you. That has involved actually holding off any change for a couple of years while the National Police Staff Council worked through proposals to change, that are actually similar to what the force are proposing now. The PSC proposals were abandoned but have not gone away. Further developments are pending with a fuller scoping exercise that is going on Nationally, which will provide the Terms of Reference for part two of the PSC Handbook Revisions but we do know that what the force are proposing it much less detrimental than the PSC.

All of this is part of a bigger picture of Government trying to set the level of terms and conditions for the Police Staff workforce, removing it out of the control of local employers and forcing us into a detrimental set of National Terms and Conditions. Your branch feel that it is vital for us to keep Local Collective Bargaining arrangements and not have these things controlled centrally. So, the proposed changes must be reflective of the agreement of the Police Staff workforce in Sussex and not of those in Hampshire or even Derbyshire and Durham. 

Pay Audit

Within the previous circulations we mentioned to you that the Force went through a Pay Audit back in 2009/2011. The Audit centred on police staff pay scales and equal pay. It was undertaken by the HAY Group who are the same company the Force work with to provide job evaluations for all of the Staff roles within Sussex Police. So, the original pay review was centred on police staff pay scales and equal pay. It identified that the approach to payments for shift and unsocial hours for police staff in Sussex was unfit for purpose and unhelpfully complex.

The Equal Pay Audit produced a number of observations and included a health check on the job evaluation system and simplification of its application.

The main points of the recommendations were based around the 2009 report from HAY-

    Sussex Police should re-examine their pay and grading structure and the way that jobs are allocated to grades to reduce the size of potential Equal Value claims.

    The organisation must make sure how jobs are graded is clearly understood by all job evaluation panel members, communicating the correct grade boundaries to them.

    Sussex Police should examine their present system of hidden increments as part of the pay and grading review. Understanding of increments and their effect on gender balance is essential.

    In line with current practice in other Public Sector organisations and Police Forces, the force should consider moving from the current system of incremental pay towards a performance related pay scheme.

    Sussex Police should improve communication with employees around reward. Employees should have a basic understanding of pay decisions.

    A number of allowances should be removed.

    Sussex Police policies should be updated so that they are consistent and understood by employees. Equality Act provisions need to be understood.

The HAY report further identified that there was a potential issue around additional increments that are provided for working outside of standard hours. They found that roles might be graded according to the required pay point rather than the grade that is indicated by the evaluation score. The pay was then made up through the increment system and they indicated that rather than do things in that way, a separate payment was better than using the incremental system.

Equal Pay/Part Time issue

In 2013 the Branch received a number of complaints from part time members claiming a breach of Regulation 5, Part Time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000, in connection with how the Force paid those workers under the current system at weekends. This matter was taken by the Branch to the Employment Tribunal at Southampton, Case No. 3101674/2013, where the current system was found to be flawed in  that respect and the Force had to compensate Part Time staff accordingly. That result also drove the desire of the Force to change the current system into what they have now proposed. They want to change the way that the allowance is paid quite simply from one that is a payment for a span of shifts (criticised in the ET case) to one where the allowance is paid across the board, to staff who actually work an Unsocial Shift.

Police Staff Council and the Role of the National Union Office.

The Police Staff Council (PSC) is a loose grouping of Police Forces in England and Wales which looks to negotiate Terms and Conditions (T&C’s), of service for Police Staff. This is achieved through the Police Staff Council Handbook which was first drawn up in 1996 and had its first revision in 2004. While some forces fully adopt all the negotiated T&C’s through that process, others like Sussex do not and that is permissible under the Terms of reference for the PSC. The council management/employer side has representatives from the National Police Chiefs Council, Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and Home Office and the Trade Union side is a grouping from UNISON, UNITE and GMB. Kent, Surrey and Thames Valley Police forces are not members of the PSC, with Surrey and Kent always out and Thames Valley now only in for the pay settlement side of the council. The terms of the handbook can be varied through local collective agreement and so therefore are not set in stone and your branch has historically negotiated with Sussex Police to improve on many of the provisions of the 2004 Handbook which is the current baseline for us.

The National Union is involved with the discussions we have had with the Force. They have provided a checking service to ensure that the proposal sits legally within Employment Law. This service has also been a factor in the delay of the implementation of the new proposal as we have insisted that we have to comply with the oversight of the National Union in this area.

At the end of the day we can only come to you with a ballot once the National Union is satisfied that the proposal on the table is something that complies with Law.


In much of the previous updates that were circulated by the branch and by the Employer, mention was made that changing to the proposed new allowance helped in the area of Equal Pay. The law here is quite simple. A woman doing equal work with a man in the same employment is entitled to equality in pay and other contractual terms, unless the employer can show that there is a material reason for the difference which does not discriminate on the basis of her sex.

However, although the proposed new system has to be checked that it meets this requirement, the issue is not all about Equal Pay. It is also about future proofing a system that will stand the test of time and it is also about something that is uncomplicated and straightforward that everyone can understand.

Another area of Law that is also relevant here (as we have mentioned above) is the Part Time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000.

A pay practice that treats part-time workers less favourably than comparable full-time workers is likely to be indirectly discriminatory against women, as more women than men work part time. Conversely, a pay practice which treats full time workers less favourably than part time workers is likely to be indirectly discriminatory against men, as full time workers are more likely to be men. Unless an employer can objectively justify the pay differential or practice, it will be unlawful.

An employer can justify an indirectly discriminatory factor by showing that it is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. To follow this as an example pertinent to us, If the employer can show that the only way to ensure adequate staffing of unsocial hours shifts is to pay a shift premium, then if there is evidence that more men than women work those shifts and receive the extra payments, the material factor defence may succeed.

If they can show that the system they adopt is exactly the same for men and women come what may, then the legitimate aim will succeed. There is no list of aims that are accepted to be legitimate, and whether or not an employer’s pay practice pursues a legitimate aim will depend on the facts and circumstances in a particular case.

At this moment in time it seems that the legitimate aim of the employer can be justified and that we do not have a breach of the legislation.

Negotiations - Where we started to where we are now!

The Models in debate

Before 2013 and the development of the first model the branch was approached by HR looking for a new way to pay the Unsocial Hours Allowance. We did some research and came up with the system that Thames Valley Police had adopted. It was the only system which we found that was the least detrimental for staff and also the least complex. It had its faults but we felt that those could be ironed out through negotiation. It was also a system that the Thames Valley Branch had taken to their membership who had voted in favour of it. The system was also outside of the Police Staff Council arrangements, where all other forces were using that method, which some calculations had shown to be substantially detrimental to our membership if we moved to it.

We presented those findings to the Force and the project was born from that. Nearly at the same time, the Police Staff Council also began to examine the TVP system with the intention of incorporating it into changes that they were going to propose for a new revised hand book.

So, here are the Models that we looked at during the project negotiations.

Model 1 - 2013/2014

The first model proposed payment for unsocial hours to be the hours between 8pm and 6am Monday to Saturday and all day Sunday.  Unsocial hours would not be paid when individuals were on annual leave, sick or absent for any reason and did not work unsocial hours.

This would result in a saving of £2.5 million.

Model 2 - 2015

The second proposed payment for unsocial hours to be the hours between 8pm and 6am Monday to Saturday and all day Sunday.  Payment would be made to individuals who were on annual leave, sick or absent for any reason and did not work unsocial hours. This model would have resulted in 95.9% of staff getting a pay cut.

This would result in a saving of £1.5M.

Model 3 – 2017

The third model (The current proposal)  proposed payment for unsocial hours to be the hours between 7pm and 7am Monday to Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday.  Payment would be made to individuals who were on annual leave, sick or absent for any reason and did not work unsocial hours.

This on paper saves the force £20k a year but has an implementation cost of £200k.

Model 4 - PSC Model

As we have mention above, during the time of this project the Police Staff Council began negotiations Nationally to revise the Staff Handbook. Those negotiations produced a similar method of Unsocial Hours Allowance provisions as we have on the table now. They also used the Thames Valley system as we have done albeit they did look at a wider concept including the Fire Brigade systems and those of the NHS and some Private Companies.

The PSC proposed a matrix as ours does, but the loading in that matrix was less generous than the one proposed for Sussex. This is the proposed matrix discussed through the PSC.


0700 - 2000

2000 - 0700

Monday - Friday

Plain Time









We have done some costings on this which confirms that the Sussex proposal on force shift patterns is less detrimental as the span of hours is 0700-1900 and the Saturday & Sunday daytime rate is higher. We are also aware that these weightings have not been agreed so could change when the PSC part 2 review gets underway. As we have said previously the PSC is a baseline we will not go below so if a more beneficial matrix comes out of the PSC review we will push the force to adopt it. However it is worth noting we have stopped the force adopting part 1 of the review due to the huge detrimental impact the cut in overtime rates would have on those of you that work overtime.

For comparison this is the matrix which we have negotiated with the Force for you.


0700 - 1900

1900 - 0700

Monday - Thursday

Plain Time



Plain Time









The mitigation gained to date.

Your will see from the details above how this proposal developed but to assist here is a list of the mitigations we have gained to date.

    Increase in the matrix weightings

    Proposal to cover all day Saturday and Sunday; both days considered unsocial

    Agreement to cover Annual Leave and Sickness

    Agreement to pay unsocial hour allowance if moved from social to unsocial by the Force

    Agreement to hold project during PSC negotiations

    Increase the threshold from 33% to 36%

    Implementation for current staff April 2018 (Branch asked for this to be Sept 2018 in the negotiations but this was declined)

    Current staff “protected” for 12 months after implementation meaning that full impact not until April 2019 (Branch asked for this to be 18 months in the negotiations but this was declined)


The Alternatives

Police Staff Council Unsocial Hours provisions.

The PSC Handbook provides for the following provisions when paying an allowance for Unsocial Hours and for working Shifts. They are not provisions that this force has ever adopted because of the Local Agreement, which is our current system. We have done some individual calculations on this system and we have determined that it would be more detrimental to our members if adopted by the Force.

In addition, this system is likely to change with the coming of the Handbook revision part 2. There is no timeline on that yet but we already know that the preferred replacement is a variation on the current Sussex Police proposal and detailed in model 4 above.

Current Handbook Clauses.

Payments for working unsocial or irregular hours (Prime time not operated in Sussex)

    Weekend work shall be paid at the rate of time and a half for all hours worked.

    Night work shall be paid at the rate of time and a third for all hours worked between 2000 and 0600.

The following allowances shall be paid to employees working irregular hours (which are defined as hours before 0700 or after 1830):

    An average of at least four but less than eight hours per week calculated over the working cycle (pro rata to hours worked) - 7.5% of salary

    An average of at least eight hours per week calculated over the working cycle (pro rata to hours worked) - 10% of salary

The allowance for working irregular hours shall not apply to work which qualifies for allowances classed as Night Work or where the employee works shifts and those hours are done voluntarily or under a flexible working arrangement.


Payments for working shifts

The allowances set out below shall apply where a shift pattern meets all of the following criteria:

    A span of eleven hours or more between start time of the earliest shift and finish time of the latest shift

    At least four hours between the starting time of the earliest and latest shifts

    At least half of the shifts in the shift cycle include some unsocial hours

Period covered by shifts Proportion of basic pay

                                       11-14 hours  - 12.5%

                                       Over 14 and less than 18 hours - 14%

                                       18 hours or more - 20%

For the purposes of this paragraph unsocial hours shall be weekends, nights and irregular hours, as defined under Payments for working Irregular Hours above.

For comparison purposes under the current PSC handbook you would get either 12.5%, 14% or 20% maximum shift allowance. We have used these figures and done some individual calculation which show that the current force proposal is above these percentages.

Under model 1 that was proposed by the force, we substantially pushed back due to the fact a number of shift patterns were below these rates and we have always viewed the PSC as a baseline and won't consider putting anything to you that is below that baseline. 

Where next?

The project was put on hold in 2015 as the Police Staff Council were looking at the framework nationally but negotiations were unsuccessful and so it was agreed that we should resume local negotiations for Sussex staff, and we have continued to work hard with the Force to progress this positively.

A revised approach, affecting approximately 800 staff, has now been identified which is based on payment to reflect the unsocial hours worked in your shift, rather than rostered shifts. An ethical decision has also been taken to cap total shift allowance to 36% of an individual’s base salary, which is consistent with and in some cases above what is paid in other organisations. The threshold is there to ensure that your base salary is not artificially raised by the addition of an allowance, beyond the percentage set. Your base salary is should always reflect the proper evaluation result from the HAY panel job evaluation process.

The Force recognises that there are not savings available: the aim is not to cut, but to improve the system and direct the available resources to the right places.

During the length of the project the Force has conducted research to find the appropriate model and at our direction, has involved extensive pay modelling of alternative approaches including the Police Staff Council, Winsor recommendations and other Police Forces.

After much discussion and consideration with the Force, only one key model emerged and was agreed upon.  This has been revised and developed over the last three years.

On this occasion, as you can see, the Force has at the heart of this change, fairness, not saving, and they have focused on an approach that will ensure consistency and transparency. We have supported that stance but we also recognise that any change proposal will have an element of unfairness about it. There will be winners and losers. It is the hope that what we have got onto the table for you now, minimises that as far as is practically possible. However, we have now reached a stage where nothing further can be done through negotiation. The Force want to implement this as soon as is possible and there is nothing we can do to stop that from happening, without your support in a sustained action to oppose what they want to do. You need to give that some consideration as you decide on your vote.

So, the  proposal currently up for your vote is the best we can achieve by negotiation and the Force has indicated that it does not have further room to move in this matter, beyond that which we have negotiated.  It is now time for your decision given all the information that we can provide and with discussion we have had both with your Stewards and with many of you individually.

The vote is your chance to say Yes or No to the proposal and that decision is entirely yours to make.


The 2017 Pay Claim Update & Branch Comments.

posted 3 Oct 2017, 05:45 by Andy Stenning

The Branch has this morning received the following update from our National Pay negotiations and we are circulating this to you for information.

The Police Staff Council Trade Union Side (UNITE, UNISON and GMB) was expecting the Employers to make us a pay offer for 2017 at a negotiating meeting held on 29 September. This follows the submission of our pay claim earlier in the summer for:

·      A 5%, or £1,000, increase on PSC pay points, whichever is the greater, from 1 September 2017

·      Removal of the two lowest pay points in the PSC pay spine

·      A 5% increase in standby allowance


But the Employers said that they were not in a position to make an offer, because they were seeking extra funding from the Home Office to pay for the police officer pay award last month, and money to pay for our members’ award too. As trade unions, we found the employer’s inability to make us a pay offer totally unacceptable.

Members will be aware that police officers were awarded the following pay rise for 2017 by the Home Secretary in September:

·      1% consolidated increase in basic pay for all ranks

·      An additional non-consolidated payment to the value of 1% of basic pay (using 2016/17 pay rates)


In actual fact, the Home Secretary (the MP for Hastings) interfered with the recommendation of the independent police officer pay review body, which had wanted to give officers a consolidated 2% pay award. The Police Federation has branded the Home Secretary’s actions as a ‘disgrace’, and the award as ‘an insult.’


Many police forces and PCCs have since made the point that, as the police officer pay award was not funded by the Home Office, paying it would just mean more police cuts. This issue has clearly affected the ability of the Employers to make us an offer at this stage and they emphasised the work that the NPCC and APCC were undertaking to get extra cash from the Home Office to pay for the police officer and our members’ pay awards this year.


The Trade Union Side makes the following points in response to the failure of the Employers to make us a pay offer:


·      Police staff will be angry at the delay to their pay offer

·      Any suggestion that police staff should be offered less than police officers this year would be totally unacceptable

·      The 1% pay cap for police staff must be thrown out this year

·      Our claim for police staff this year is for a 5% increase on all pay points to reflect the massive cut in the earning power of our members’ pay as a result of austerity under this government

·      Police staff on low incomes have suffered disproportionately as a result of government pay austerity

·      We want low pay dealt with as part of our pay claim this year.


Pay talks are due to resume on 24 October.


As you can imagine we echo the robust disquiet that our National colleagues have with this turn of events. Here in Sussex we are working with you to deal with the proposed Unsocial Hours changes and we are very aware of the impact financially this will have on many members. While it is not directly linked to those negotiations locally, the failure to provide a long awaited and decent pay rise for our members and at the same time be talking of taking money out of the pay packets of some, is wholly unacceptable.


We think the Government, the PCC and the MP for Hastings need to realise that our members are not going to put up with this for much longer and that the goodwill and professionalism they show every day, is fast running out.  


Andy Stenning

Head of Branch


Pay Up Now! – Scrap the pay cap and give public servants a meaningful pay rise

posted 2 Oct 2017, 07:44 by Andy Stenning   [ updated 8 Nov 2017, 04:31 by Unison Sussex Police & Justice Staff Branch ]

Every single person who works in public services needs and deserve a pay rise. 

Police Staff are now behind Police Officers in getting a pay rise thanks to the Government's recent divisive payrise grant to them ! 

In Sussex many staff who work shifts are looking at proposals to cut pay by changing their Unsocial Hours allowance.
It’s time for the pay cap to be scrapped, for the government to provide additional funding for public sector pay and for employers to put public sector workers pay up now.

For more than seven years, everyone who works in public services has seen their pay decline, thanks to the public sector pay cap. Inflation is currently at 2.9%, meaning that the cap is a significant annual pay cut for those public service champions – nurses, care workers, teaching assistants, social workers and so many others - who work for all of us. Public sector pay has risen by just 4.4% between 2010 and 2016 while the cost of living rose by 22%.

Please sign the petition now ... PETITION

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