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21 June 2004

UNISON calls for equal pay before the law for police staff

UNISON, the union representing 30,000 police staff is today calling for urgent action by the employers to stamp out pay discrimination in the police force.

The call comes in the wake of a new survey* which shows shocking and inexplicable differences in pay rates for the same job, from one force to the next. For example a scenes of crime officer in Essex can earn as little as £10,494 while in Nottingham they could be paid £38,000 and traffic wardens in Staffordshire can be paid a whole £8,000 less than their colleagues in Warwickshire.

Ben Priestley, UNISON National Officer for Police Staff said: "This survey gives damning evidence of the unaccountable variations in police staff pay from one force to the next. How can it be right for a crime analyst to be paid £10,000 less in Suffolk than they are paid in South Yorkshire? These statistics bring shame on the whole police staff pay system.

"UNISON is determined to close this pay gap because it is damaging to the image of the police service - it is bad for staff morale and bad for performance. We want to see new terms and conditions that treat police staff as an integrated national workforce with all staff treated equally and fairly.

"Just as the Home Office wants to raise the performance of all police forces to that of the best performing forces, so UNISON wants to raise the terms and conditions of all police staff to those given by the best employers. These two ambitions are inextricably linked."

The results of the survey, undertaken for UNISON by the Labour Research Department, show that:

* on average there is a difference of £6,000 in the salaries for the same job across forces in England, Scotland and Wales*

* forces using the same job evaluation scheme are paying staff different salaries for doing the same job*

* forces in the South East pay their police staff, on average, only one pay point higher than staff in the rest of the country (approx £500 more)*

* forces give up to 4 days different leave entitlement to their police staff* The research looks at 17 different police staff jobs across England, Wales and Scotland with a particular analysis of pay and conditions in the South East.

To put this right, UNISON is calling on the police employers to:

* establish a centrally driven approach to job evaluation using the equality-proofed PSC 13-factor job evaluation scheme*

* prioritise the elimination of pay discrimination*

* require all forces to carry out equal pay audits*

* harmonise annual leave at a 25 day minimum for all police staff*

* address the deficit in south east weighting by implementing a PSC South East weighting allowance of £2000.*

Typical Pay rates revealed by survey:

Job Title ..............................Top ..........................Bottom

Community support Officer, Kent £20,485 West Mercia £12,816

Control Room Operator, Warwickshire £23,181 Northern (Scot) £11,724

Detention Officer' South Yorkshire £17,931 Staffordshire £11,634

Enquiry Desk Clerk' Warwickshire £21,135 West Mercia £11,150

Fingerprint Experts, Cambridgeshire £27,231 Northumbria £12,104

Payroll Manager, Lincolnshire £49,422 Northern (Scot) £15,990

Receptionist, Warwickshire £16,404 West Yorkshire £10,149

Security Officer, Northumbria £13,252 West Mercia £10,149

Word processor, Warwickshire £16,404 West Yorkshire £10,149

*Survey of Police Staff Pay and Conditions 2003 - UNISON's Campaign for Fair pay and conditions for Police Staff. Ends For copies of the report or further information please call Anne Mitchell on 07887 945307




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