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Date: 18 November 2009

Staff cuts threat will damage policing - UNISON

UNISON, the union representing police support workers, today condemned threatened cuts in Strathclyde Police staff jobs and redundancies as inefficient and discriminatory.

Today's statement to staff by Stephen House, Strathclyde's Chief Constable, says that savings needed to meet shortfalls in the force budget of 16m pounds next year, will be borne primarily by police support staff rather than by police officers. UNISON says that this would be inefficient and discriminatory.

Dave Watson, UNISON's Scottish Organiser for Policy said: "This is a return to 1970's policing, most forward looking forces are looking to expand the role of support staff to release police officers to tackle crime. The Scottish public want police officers out on the streets not stuck behind a desk doing support work. If Mr House is looking for efficiencies, then he needs to use more police staff to do the important support work - not make them redundant."

UNISON also suggests that this move is potentially discriminatory. Dave Watson said "The bulk of police staff are women, whereas the bulk of officers are men. We are anxious to see the Equality Impact Assessment that the force has to produce for any major organisational change."

The union - who represent 1500 staff working for Strathclyde Police - has made it clear that they will fight any attempt to make staff compulsorily redundant.

Dave Watson said " UNISON recognises the difficult position that the force is in, but to ask for staff co-operation in delivering efficiencies at the same time as threatening them with losing their job, is not something we can accept."

ENDS

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