Police staff in England and Wales will take part in a consultative ballot that includes options for industrial action over a ‘politically influenced’ pay freeze, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Monday 16 August). 

Police staff, including control room operatives, 999 calls handlers and forensics, have been told by the employers’ side of the Police Staff Council, which comprises local authority employers as well as police chiefs and commissioners, that they will not receive a pay rise for 2021. 

Unite said this is because the council’s local authority employers have been pressured by the Home Office into mirroring the pay freeze currently being imposed on police officers. 

During pay negotiations, Unite, which represents police staff in forces across the country, was told by the police staff employers that a decision would not be made until the Police Remuneration & Review Board had made its pay recommendation for officers.

When the board later recommended a pay freeze for police officers, the decision was soon followed by the Police Staff Council.

The consultative ballot opens today and closes on 13 September.  

Unite national officer Jim Kennedy said: “The police staff employers have arrived at this decision because local authority employers have capitulated to undue influence by the Home Office.

“Our members stand in solidarity with police officers who also deserve a pay rise, but decisions about their wages should not be decided by politicians worried about optics.

“This pay freeze will be implemented due to political interference and is completely unreasonable.

“The anger amongst our membership is such that Unite has no choice but to take the first step towards industrial action and hold a consultative ballot that will outline all possibilities for industrial action including strike action.

“We urge the Police Staff employers to rescind their politically influenced position and present an offer that our members can accept.” 


During the coronavirus crisis Unite is working to keep workers and the public safe, to defend jobs and to protect incomes.

For media enquires ONLY contact Unite communications officer Ryan Fletcher on 07849 090215.

Email: [email protected]

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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.