Police officers forcibly reject pay deal offer

Figures
just released show police officers rejected a pay deal offered by Home
Secretary David Blunkett by 10 to 1.

The
Police Federation said in a ballot of 126,000 rank and file officers, 84,205
(91 per cent) rejected the controversial deal with just 8,059 (9 per cent)
voting in favour.

In
Scotland 94.1 per cent of officers voted against, while in Northern Ireland
89.2 per cent rejected the deal.

Thirty-seven
per cent of officers cited Blunkett’s plan to reduce overtime pay as the reason
they rejected the offer.

Fred
Broughton, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said:
"We promised our members, almost a year ago, that as and when firm
proposals were made by the Government, we would ask for their opinions before
deciding whether or not to accept the offer.

"Our
members have spoken forcibly. The Police Federation, Home Secretary and police
authorities must now come together to work out proposals that will be
acceptable to the service. As they stand they are not, due to the impossible
timetable the Home Secretary imposed.

"It
is very clear that our members were determined not to accept measures that were
divisive, would value some officers more than others and leave thousands of
frontline colleagues worse off.

"The
police service cannot function without overtime due to under-resourcing and the
nature of the job. What the Government has failed to realise is that you cannot
manage overtime by making it cheaper – you merely abuse and demoralise officers
further.

"We
now want to enter into serious negotiations to resolve this crisis quickly and
fairly."

By Quentin Reade

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