Police boss in wage row

Barry Coppinger
Barry Coppinger

A POLICE commissioner has backed a force decision to employ specialist investigators on zero-hours contracts despite backing a campaign for a living wage.

Cleveland Police advertised the jobs following ‘unprecedented level of serious investigations’ that officers had to handle in the last year.

The job description, which is posted on the force’s website, advertises that the salary range is £21,309 to £25,704, and clearly states that it is on a zero hour contract.

Last year, Mr Coppinger signed the force up to the Living Wage campaign and has spoken at union meetings and Labour forums about people’s salaries and the impact of austerity on living standards.

But Mr Coppinger says the jobs are aimed at a specific market and would not expect anyone to work solely for the force.

He said: “This is specialised work, suitable only for appropriately qualified and experienced applicants.

“The extra staff are being recruited to deal with the unprecedented level of serious investigations required over the last 12 months.

“Cleveland Police won’t be expecting successful applicants to work solely for them, therefore this is a long way from the kind of zero-hours contracted employment where people have no idea from one day to the next when they are working.”