90 days from today is Mon, 28 December 2020
20 December 2019
Acting Chair’s Update December 2019
Hopefully all of you will now have received a personal email with a unique link to cast your vote for our new Chair. Both candidates, Charlotte Pateman and Sam Dobbs, have also completed an election statement so you can consider which candidate you feel would be best placed to represent you and lead the Federation moving forward. If you have not received an email, please contact the Federation office on extension 341048 so this can be rectified.
There are other changes taking place within the Federation over the next few months. Our full-time conduct and performance lead, Mark Osborn, will be retiring in March and he will be replaced by Sgt Alan McMahon. Many of you will have been supported by Mark over the years and I am sure you will join me in offering thanks for his service and wishing him all the best in his retirement. Pat Anstead our full-time Secretary is also due to retire early 2020. A process will take place to find a new officer to replace Pat as soon as possible so the Federation can continue under a new leadership team to represent and support you.
There are also a number of other retirements next year from the Federation council, including myself, and this will create a number of opportunities for new workplace representatives to join the team. As a rep you work alongside members to support them in matters on performance, conduct, complaints, welfare and equality issues and health and safety concerns. Full training is provided at Federation headquarters and the role, whilst at times can be challenging, is extremely rewarding. If you would like to know more about the role please speak to any rep or the office and we can put you in contact with a rep qualified in the particular area that might interest you.
The Federation have been working with Chief Officers’ regarding concerns over workloads on response and within PVP. We have highlighted that some officers have felt forced to work on their rest days from home to update victims, complete investigations and update NICHE and keep on top of their crime enquiries. This is unacceptable and needs to stop. The Chief Constable is fully aware and also concerned about this. We are worried about your loss of a work-life balance and wellbeing. Work is ongoing to try and address this, looking at the allocation of tasks and resources. I would urge anyone who finds themselves in this situation, or is aware of a colleague doing this to speak with their line manager and Inspector. If you are a supervisor and have concerns and need support please speak with your own line manager or head of department. Please also let myself or Pat know, so we can assess the full extent of the problem and escalate as necessary. Officer wellbeing is of upmost importance to the Federation, and we will continue to challenge the organisation to improve working conditions. Whilst we accept officers may choose to check emails etc whilst off, this level of ‘off-duty’ working must stop.
The Federation have also raised concerns regarding some of the impact of the new policing model on safety of officers in the more rural locations and the location of colleagues to respond to calls for assistance. We are aware that with the introduction of a more ‘borderless’ policing model there is a natural deployment of resources to the busiest areas and then with NAMAR, these officers find themselves responding to incidents in the busier towns and not moving back into rural locations. This has been raised at the Strategic Improvement Board with Chief officers and is being reviewed.
The shift pattern survey has been finalised and those affected have now had their duties changed. If you are having problems around these changes including any negotiation over flexible working, please do contact the Federation so we can assist you.
Finally you will also hopefully have seen the new national wellbeing and inclusion survey being completed across all 43 forces. This will help assess wellbeing in Force and allow comparison against other forces. Please do complete this survey, which is independent from our own internal force survey. This will help capture how you feel about your wellbeing so that we can then work on your behalf to continue to improve conditions. The link to the survey is here:
May I also take this opportunity to wish you all a merry Christmas and I hope you all have a safe and peaceful holiday season where you can spend some quality time with those you love.
Julia M Potts