Police across England and Wales will vote on whether they should fight for the right to strike – despite winning seven per cent pay rise this year
Police officers are to vote on whether they should be given the right to strike.
Thousands of police officers in England and Wales will be balloted on whether they seek to have industrial rights.
Currently police officers do not have the right to strike because they are not technically employees, they are servants of the Crown.
The Police Act 1919 prohibited police from joining a trade union that could take strike action.
Now the Police Federation of England and Wales is asking its 145,000 members, which represent ranks from constable to chief inspector, whether they should get the same industrial rights as other public sector workers.
Currently police officers do not have the right to strike because they are not technically employees, they are servants of the Crown
Police Federation of England and Wales Chair Steve Hartshorn has asked members if they would want the same industrial rights as other public sector workers
Chair Steve Hartshorn told its annual conference: ‘You know that as an organisation we have for the first time in many years been talking about seeking greater industrial rights.
‘We have seen the industrial unrest this year and seen how it has helped some unions lead a greater negotiation with Government.
‘I don’t know where these conversations will lead and it is for the membership to determine our direction.
‘But be assured this comes because our members feel there has been a real breakdown in the special relationship that has existed between governments of all political colours and the police.’
Police have been given a seven per cent pay rise this year, but Mr Hartshorn told the Home Secretary Suella Braverman it should have been 10 per cent higher.
The Federation said in a statement: ‘This decision follows more than a decade of requesting the Government to address police officers’ poor working terms and conditions.
‘However, these requests have consistently been ignored by the Government, significantly depriving officers of the pay they deserve and the police service of much needed resources.
‘The Government’s neglect has resulted in a growing sense of anger and frustration amongst our membership.’