UNISON: Government must act on Scots police staff jobs and end confusion

Date: Fri 1 February 2013

UNISON’s new all-Scotland police branch today urged the government and employers to avert disastrous police staff job cuts and to end “the chaos and uncertainty” facing members.

Police staff from across the country spoke at a UNISON meeting in Glasgow today of their anger about up to 3,000 job losses, uncertainty around the redundancy scheme and confusion about who their ultimate boss will be.

George McIrvine, Secretary of UNISON Police Staff Scotland said: “The continuing chaos of the reform of the Scottish police service is affecting staff members whose futures are even more unsure as information is drip fed to them. This is ludicrous and no way to treat a workforce.”

He said that it is time for the Scottish government to take action and realise that keeping its headline target number of police officers while cutting tens of millions of pounds out of the budget for the new police service is fatally flawed.

UNISON wants the government to get around the table with the police authorities and unions to discuss realistic ways of achieving a modern balanced police service and not having the expensive waste of police officers backfilling support staff jobs, as hundreds already are.

George added: “At our meeting today stewards told similar stories of being inundated with queries from members after the announcement of the Scottish Police Redundancy/Voluntary Severance policy.

“However, there has been no further information on future structures to allow staff to make an informed decision.  So far, there has been no discussion about where redundancies will fall, what jobs or where.

“Also, police staff, who have been told they will all be employed by the Scottish Police Authority, have no idea under whose direction they will come – either Vic Emery, of the SPA, or Steve House, of the Police Service of Scotland.

“We are less than eight weeks from the 1 April start and the lack of information is astounding. The SPA expects staff to volunteer their jobs up, under the current bleak outlook of no work externally, without knowing all of their options.

“What sort of morale do they expect staff to have when they turn up on day one? They are expected to come to work with enthusiasm not knowing what the future holds for them.”

For information please contact:
George McIrvine, Secretary of UNISON Police Staff Scotland, 07842 542 677
Stevie Diamond, Chairperson UNISON Police Staff Scotland, 07717 753 914
Gerry Crawley, Regional Organiser, UNISON Scotland 07958 121 805
Fiona Montgomery, Communications Officer, UNISON Scotland 0141 342 2877 or 07508 877 000

Note to editors:
The proposed redundancy/voluntary severance scheme is being rolled out through the existing eight police forces and the SPSA to allow staff to express an interest and to allow those leaving before 1 April to qualify..