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Police and Justice Conference

posted 22 Oct 2018, 08:48 by Jo Sykes

This year Police and Justice Conference was held in Bournemouth on the 11th and 12th October.  It appeared to be well attended by all the force branches across the uk.


Motions were held throughout Thursday morning. We were joined  by the Labour Shadow Minister for Policing Louise Haigh MP. She was a very interesting speaker and has much passion for police and justice.   Louise was a Special Police Officer for a period of 4 years so at least has an understanding of policing, its needs and requirements. She fully recognises the need for new funding and a stop to any further cuts to policing. She is very concerned for our futures and policing as a whole without this funding.  Louise also seems to have grasped the importance of police staff as well as police officers and the fact that police officers cannot perform or function without police staff support. Hoorah. Why do others find it so difficult to recognise? She is determined should Labour win an election to put policing and police staff back on the map.  For once I actually did not feel a politician was just saying what we wanted to hear. I felt Louise really believed in us and what we do and wants to reverse the decimation of the police staff and officers.


Also speaking at conference was assistant general secretary Christina McAnea she said that our sector had in the last eight years seen unprecedented cuts and a massive reorganisation. PCSO’s have been cut by 40% and as seen on the news Norfolk have cut them completely.  One in five police staff jobs have been lost. She also said the the probation service has also been hit by ill-thought-out changes.

She pointed out that many Chief Constables and the national police lead for finance and resources Dave Thompson has said that policing was at ‘tipping point’.  She ended her statement with I quote;  “It’s unacceptable for the government to try and explain away rising crime rates, rather than taking action.“Cuts to policing are having a disproportionate impact on our most deprived communities and vulnerable people – those who need protecting the most.“Ministers must stop attacking the police and justice sector, and instead invest in it properly so that public safety is no longer being jeopardised.”

There were workshops in the afternoon for police delegates and probation delegates. Wendy Wheeler one of the Branch Executive attended on behalf of probation for our branch.

On Friday there were two separate meetings held one for Probation and one for Police Staff. They were both on pay and negotiations.  

Your own Branch Secretary Andy Stenning was up on the rostrum discussing the pay review and funding.  Click the link to read https://www.unison.org.uk/news/2018/10/pay-top-agenda-police-justice-conference/

It is more important than ever for staff to become members of the union.  Some non members are often heard stating that they get the pay rise anyway, whether they are a member or not so why need to join.  This is a fact that yes non members do receive the pay rise that Unison negotiates for every year. However, it is all about numbers.  The more members that Unison has the more pressure it can put on a government for a decent pay rise. With more members we are more likely to achieve the pay rises we deserve.  This does not mean that we would all have to come out on strike, but if Unison in the police had full membership of every member of police staff the pressure that could be put on the government by our national executive who negotiate on our behalf would be immense. A conversation our members might want to have with non members or are non members happy to continue to get an excuse for a pay rise year on year.

The bottom line is that without the unions nobody in public sector would get a pay rise at all because believe me if the governments did not have the unions at their heels they would just ignore us completely.  Have you ever thought why some governments want to get rid of unions. Think about it nobody to ask for pay rises, nobody to ask for terms and conditions to be set out properly, nobody to ensure standards, health and safety and well being are being looked after and upheld.  It is not perfect with the unions but what would it be without unions. This is one of the most important areas for the union as well as supporting members when they come up against the employee.


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