Police Federation

COP26: Federation working to secure fair rest day compensation and conditions

National Board member Steve Taylor highlights our work behind the scenes to ensure members providing mutual aid are looked after

29 October 2021


Sunday marks the start of the biggest mutual aid operation our country has ever seen as 13,000 officers attend the COP26 climate change conference with around 140 world leaders in attendance.

Basically, it’s five gargantuan jobs all rolled up into one: a presidential visit, an ex-presidential visit, a state reception, the biggest international climate conference and the planned protest marches.

From day one, the Federation has been involved in the complex planning process with chiefs, Mutual Aid Liaison Officers and event organisers to ensure the welfare of our 8500 members deployed to Glasgow are looked after, with the basics such as comfortable accommodation, transport and food.

I have been stationed here in Glasgow, together with National Board member and PFEW Treasurer Simon Kempton over the past week to speak to colleagues, iron out issues and share our previous experience of large-scale deployments.

Last night we were called out to the Tulliallan staging post near Falkirk accompanying some Mutual Aid Liaison Officers at the request of officers who were struggling with a number of accommodation issues such as cold and low water pressure. Thankfully this has now been resolved.

Some colleagues saw snow yesterday and we passed two snow plough gritters on the roads – winter is coming! But of course, it wouldn’t be Scotland without adverse weather conditions, and we hope our welfare vans stations will go some way to helping keep the morale of officers up with hot drinks and snacks during their 12-hour+ shifts.

On the other end of the scale, we have also been working hard to address the issue of officers being held in reserve on their rest days and not being compensated fairly.

Local Federation boards up and down the country are putting their respective chief officer teams under a reasonable amount of pressure, inviting them to do the right thing and fairly recompense members for this unprecedented impact on their rests days while deployed at COP26.

As of last night, in addition to the three forces paying a form of rest day working, 11 forces are paying some form of Reg 34 bonus for non-rest day working. These 14 forces account for well over half the officers deployed and it's hoped more forces will come round.

COP26 has also proven that the overnight allowance system is outdated, along with other allowanced related mutual aid, and desperately needs overhauling. We feel the £50 is derisory given the serious impact on our members’ non-working time when away from home on deployment – not to mention a disjointed, postcode lottery approach.

How is it fair that our colleagues, standing together, all doing the same job, are being treated differently depending on which force they are from? We need a unified approach moving forward.

We believe there should be a two-tier overnight allowance, and if members are held in reserve, they should receive more than that – akin to our colleagues in Scotland. We’re currently petitioning the Home Office and chiefs in this area as it is only right our members should feel valued.

It is a relief to see a lot of thought and effort has gone into getting things right for our members for this unprecedented event, but if you should face any issues, you can approach the COP26 officials at the staging posts or the Mutual Aid Liaison Officers.

There will also be 32 visible Fed reps on standby to assist members throughout the event including signposting support for accommodation, transport, welfare and food to escalating matters if need be.

For any matters relating to conduct, post-incident procedures, injuries or assaults, please go straight to a Fed rep and they will be able to support you.

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