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Surrey Police Federation

Minutes from Surrey Federation Branch Council meeting in July

1 August 2023

 

1.

After the normal initial actions and introduction, we heard reports from the main Officers.

 

2.

Equality and Wellbeing Lead’s Update Elena Boafo (EB)

We are currently working on a number of discrimination cases. They are heavy on labour, and expectations are extremely high. Some are very demanding which is why EB needs Equality trained Reps to help her with these.

Surrey Police Support Services:  EB has drafted a handbook for those who will be Support Service Reps.  They need to be totally separate from the Conduct Reps. PSD are fully onboard.

Exploring legally challenging the Force on two areas of the time off for dependants - The Force have given two lines of comms which are confusing. 

EB is also looking at the Force plan to serve misconduct and gross misconduct on parents who take children out of school in term time. We have a diverse workforce and need to ensure these are not discriminated against.   EB needs an Equality Impact Statement which appears not to have been started by the Force yet. EB will challenge from the Equality side and TA from the Conduct side.  The Team will have comms ready to respond to anything that comes out from the Force.  EB has asked to have sight of any comms from the Force prior to being published.

Fuel Card: A decision has been made not to mention this to the CC until a more solid relationship is in place.  However, the Police Mutual dashboard will be shared with him – see detail in EB’s update attached – to help fuel discussions around the pay rise and other enhancements.

Priorities: To try to convince the CC to offer a Financial Resilience package and to consider funding Private Healthcare like Police Mutual products.

 

 

3.

Secretary’s Update Tom Arthur (TA)

PSD: There are roughly 4 times as many gross misconducts being served this year.  Approx. 1,000 officers are looking at gross across the country with the possibility of losing their jobs. The pressure continues from govt and above re Police action, we are working with PSD who are actively looking at assessment of behaviour and conduct. We have had some good results recently where we have worked with the Officer and used Legal representation in various areas. case.

Reg.13: TA has 2/3 where they are trying to merge them in from Reg.17. This has a hugely negative effect on officers. The Legal stance is if they continue, we will challenge very heavily.

Arresting Officers: This seems to be the current trend, and to arrest at the most inconvenient time and to take them to a custody as far away as possible before a complete investigation has taken place. Departments doing this will be challenged where appropriate, please use the Fed on call re contact and to sort suitable Legal representation at an early stage. It is the intention of TA will bring this up with the CC because there is a concern that officers are being treated differently to the way that members of the public would be.

TA is looking at the consistency around Post Incident Procedures. We need to ensure the officers are correctly protected during the PIP process. He is still trying to look at the training that is provided. The process sometimes turns into 2 weeks rather than 3/4 days. This is not best practice, and we are not capturing best evidence and supporting and protecting Officers.

Pension:  All were asked to look at the information handed out which was discussed further later in the meeting.

We are reviewing our Standing Orders and the draft Facilities and Recognition Agreement.  The latter is a huge step forward for the Fed. The Team have also come up with Exec Expectations which represents what we think we should be doing. There will also be a Reps Expectations – these will be shared with the Council in due course to ensure everyone agrees with their content.

 

4.

Treasurer’s Update Danielle Mead (DM)

DM presented the financial data including a new Cost Report which helps her to see where we are on track for the month and year to date.  We are well within our budget with a £19k underspend this year so far.  We have taken the Newsletter away from Martis Media (MM) and are dealing with this in house looking to make a saving.  We are a bit of a pilot for the PFEW to see how it pans out and whether it works for us both.  We have just had an audit by the PFEW and DM has just done a forecast to ensure everything is on par.   

DP:  We are being very frugal. We are ensuring we book things well in advance to get better rates.

The meeting noted that the PFEW’s financial year is January to December.  This has been raised why this is the case.

DM: Our Generated Income Account (previously Member Services) is the account we use to run Shorefield and from which we provide financial help to officers under financial pressures.  Our Core Account is strongly governed and can only be used for core business.  The money used for the Blue Light Card promotion was taken from the GIS Trust Account.   

We are limited with what money we can give out.  We wish to support members but do not have masses to give out. We supported Kit Day and Soft Play with Unison; we contributed £500 to the Prostate testing that Matt Strickland is running; two breakfast events have been supported; an officer who incurred a very nasty injury has been given a small amount, and we donated £250 to the Gunn Fun Runn.

Officers need to be aware that they need to join the Welfare Fund which is only £1 per month. Premiums need to have been paid in for 6 months to apply for a loan, 12 months for a grant.

DM continues to attend Pension seminars and working with our own Pensions team to ensure things are relevant and timely.  TA: Pennington’s are now writing to officers requesting they advise what tapering they want.

DM sits on the Pay Review Panel every month.  She has struggled with their discretion around Reg. 28 on certain cases and has taken this to the CC and DCC.  DM is looking for fairer discretion.

DM:  The Force have been approached re contributions to Conference etc that the majority of Forces seem to provide as well as the time that Workplace reps give to support officers.    

DM is just about to contact an accredited company who can provide financial advice. Serve and Protect and Police Mutual are not accredited.

 

5.

Chair’s Update Darren Pemble (DP)

DP ran through his update providing further comment around the Pension Challenge, and discussions held at the recent National Council meeting.

On the issue of industrial rights, we need to ensure the membership are aware of the implications of voting for IR.  Council is asked to speak to the membership and feed any concerns back to the office.

The team continue to have regular meetings with the CC. He is aware that our policing is not working. It’s thought he may expand certain departments to help them function better.     

6.

Workplace Mediation

 

Kate Manning and Cath Goddard presented Workplace Mediation to the meeting.  The meeting discussed some of the misconceptions and barriers faced regarding referrals.  

 

 

7.

Regional & National Update Steve Taylor (ST)

ST passed on Mel Warnes’ apologies.

ST thanked those present for feeding back from the members.  There is a disconnect between the members and the centre who hear little of what is going on, so all communication is useful.

ST presented the Region 5 update 

8.

Council Feedback/Any Other Business

Lianne Would: There is a long delay on the Equality courses.  Anyone wishing to do this training should sign up ASAP. EB: Reps are still encouraged to book on to enable National to generate more courses. 

Training: Al Gardiner highlighted the difficulty around taking time out to do training courses.

Lee Canty raised officer welfare issues experienced at a recent incident where there was no facility to provide refreshments for the officers.  DP: Any issues of this nature need to be fed back to the Fed at the time to enable the team to escalate it.   

Gary Stephens highlighted an issue regarding prisoner transport where officers are transporting on their own. This has been happening on a very regular basis. TA: This will be raised with Adrian Rutherford around policy, request GS to send times, dates and locations of examples to EB.

GS spoke of a new judgement coming out? vs the Met.  Officers are putting themselves at a lot of personal and reputational risk by arresting people before they know the facts. AG: These are overnight taskings where officers come on duty and are expected to arrest someone between 9-11pm to get them into custody for when the DAT early shift start.  AG has tried to push back but has met a lot of resistance from Inspectors. The judgement puts full onus on the arresting officer rather than the OIC. DP: All are asked to keep the team in the loop who will take it up from their end.

Chris Tinney expressed that he felt the team feels quite healthy and more positive. DP thanked CT and confirmed the Team are looking forward, getting a lot of help from upstairs and pushing through a lot of work together.  It is a positive and healthy environment with a great team effort. 

AG: We also need to make the membership aware of some of the ways the Team are trying to save money.

AG suggested the Team consider by appointment Q&A sessions for the membership to be held at HQ and on Division. In addition, for the team to consider a Q&A session with the CC and the PCC. This is already in hand by DP.

AG proposed members be invited to attend Council Meetings.  It was agreed this could be re-introduced.

TA suggested a sanitised version of the minutes from the Council meetings be published for the membership 0n the website. Marlon Nolan: It would help to feed into more transparency.

Jo Wright The Comms Working Group never really got off the ground.  It was agreed communications would be included as an item on the agenda of future Branch Council meetings.  

DM: Trustees: Louise Miller and Marlon Nolan volunteered to become the two new Trustees.

AGM – It was agreed the January meeting will take the form of an AGM.

DP thanked all those for attending.

 

9.

 Date of the Next Meeting – 3rd October 2023