Police support right for industrial action

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HUNDREDS of officers at Cleveland Police voted in favour of fighting for the right to take industrial action in a national ballot.

The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) launched a ballot on pursuing the right for officers to take industrial action.

In Cleveland 746 registered to vote, but only 603 did so. Of those 78 per cent were in favour of industrial rights being sought.

Nationwide, out of the 133,108 officers eligible to vote, 56,333 took part in the ballot, with 45,651 voting in favour and 10,681 voting against.

The federation’s policy states that a clear mandate to seek industrial rights can only be provided by more than half of its total membership of 133,108 voting in favour, which is 66,554 votes.

Federation chairman Steve Williams said: “It would not be appropriate to undertake a course of action that could potentially change the employment status of more than 133,000 police officers if fewer than half of those officers have voted for us to do so.

“Our members value their unique employment status as servants of the crown and I believe the vast majority of them would view industrial action as a last resort.

“However, the significant number that voted in favour of the right to take industrial action have done so in response to the reforms and changes to policing which are being proposed and implemented by the Government, and the impact those changes are having on officers’ ability to do their jobs and on their morale.

“We have a duty to take these views into consideration and will now discuss them within our central committee.”