Police pay row escalates as federation proposes ballot on right to strike

Police will be balloted as to whether they want the Police Federation to lobby for their right to strike, it emerged yesterday.

Police officers held an emergency meeting to consider whether they should take action to gain the right to strike amid the ongoing pay row.

By law, the police cannot strike. But leaders attending a Police Federation crisis summit said they will ballot members on whether the police should seek to have the right to take industrial action.

Meanwhile, home secretary Jacqui Smith is facing mounting pressure over her decision not to backdate a 2.5% pay rise for police in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to September 2007.

Seventy-eight MPs have signed a motion tabled by the home affairs select committee chair, Keith Vaz, urging a rethink, and some Police Federation members have called for Smith’s resignation.

Police Federation chair Jan Berry wants to see police pay backdated to September, as has happened in Scotland.

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