Unison calls for South East Weighting for police staff

Unison
is calling for a £2,000 per year South East Weighting allowance for police
staff to compensate for the high cost of living in the region.

Most
London-based workers get London Weighting; London police officers are given
more than £6,000 a year plus subsidised travel; while police officers in Essex,
Hertfordshire, Kent, Surrey and Thames Valley get a £2,000 regional pay
allowance. There have recently been calls for the allowance to go up to £6,000
a year for officers in South East forces.

Unison
national officer for police staff, Ben Priestley, said:

"Police
forces in the South East are struggling to recruit and retain police staff,
particularly in control rooms, IT communications and in junior grades.

"As
a result, many police forces are not as effective as they should be despite the
professionalism and dedication of existing staff.

"Housing
and cost of living are part of the problem. They are just as expensive for
police staff as for police officers."

Unison
is seeking an allowance of £2,000 for police staff in Bedfordshire, Essex,
Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Sussex and the Thames Valley. The claim has been
lodged with the Police Support Staff Council, and separate claims are planned
for Kent and Surrey Police, which  are
not currently members of the Council.

By Quentin Reade

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