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Sussex Police Federation

Chairs Update Q4 2024

20 February 2024

 

Suspol

 

 

Dear Colleagues,

 

As my first formal address to you as your new elected Sussex Police Federation Chair, I would firstly like to express my sincere gratitude for the trust and confidence you have placed in me. It is with great honour and humility that I accept this role and the responsibility it carries.

We have some significant challenges coming over the horizon. As Chair, my primary goals will be: -

 

  • To target Pay and Working conditions at both a local and national level.
  • To advocate for members in relation to demand that is affecting their health.
  • And open the discussion of industrial rights for officers.

 

After the substantial erosion of our working conditions, it is time to openly discuss this topic and prepare the membership for a choice on how the Federation deal with this moving forward.

 

This update includes: -

 

Reg 22 breaches,

Chairs Engagement Tour,

Federation Chief Executive Officer’s Address,

Compensatory Rest,

Fitness testing,

Industrial rights

and PFEW Bravery Awards.

 

Reg 22 Breaches

 

As you will be aware from my predecessor’s updates, the topic of Reg 22 Breaches is a major focus for us and is still ongoing. Sussex Federation are the first to serve a ‘letter before legal action’ to their force on this issue. Other Federations are keeping a watchful eye on this as it is also starting to affect them .

ACC Dobinson set up a Gold Group for this matter in August 2023, concentrating efforts to understand Reg 22 and the implications for officers and the demand.

As a Federation we have seen an improvement in the number of breaches of Reg 22, but I must remind people, we are not in the peak demand season. Come the Summer, our establishment will truly be tested.

Some developments of note are that the force has sought legal advice in determining if the change of your shift finish time is a breach of Reg 22. Their legal advice has come back in line with the Federations view on this; simply extending your shift to enable the force to reach minimum numbers is a breach of Reg 22. This is off the back of all the extended shifts officers were required to do where there was no exigency.

Between March 2023 – Jan 2024, Sussex Police made over 7000 shift changes. This level of change is unacceptable and unsustainable for our officers and needs to stop.

Poor planning can never be an excuse to affect officers work life balance to this extent and therefore, Sussex Federation will continue to closely monitor this and will continuously review our position on legal action for the benefit of our members. Police Regulations are the only thing that protect us and must be upheld.

You can find previous updates on this topic here - Chairs Update Q3 2023 (polfed.org)

 

Chairs Engagement tour

 

As your new Chair, I want to improve officer engagement with the Federation.

To initiate this, I will be attending Police Stations along with workplace representatives you have elected in your divisions and some of our partners.  

Please use this opportunity to engage with us and give information that we can use to improve the working conditions of our members.

Please see below for dates and locations: -

  • 26th March - Brighton and Crowhurst Road.
  • 27th March – Bognor and Littlehampton.
  • 28th March – Worthing and Crawley.

I will be releasing dates for East Sussex soon.

As another engagement tool, we will be releasing our own Sussex Police Federation Magazine; ‘Ten Twenty’. This magazine will highlight topical points that are taking place both locally and nationally. This will be distributed within your local refreshment areas and as an electronic version to your force email.

I have been very conscious around the financial implication of this. I am pleased to say that ‘Ten Twenty’ will be cost neutral with some of our partners sponsoring the production of the magazine.

 

Federation Chief Executive Officer’s Address

 

For those of you that are aware, the National Federation have had ongoing liability issues when it comes to decisions that they made in the past. The main headline is around the Pensions Challenge and the discriminations officers suffered at the hands of Government changes to pension terms. The Federation have learnt lessons from this, and our CEO has provided some communications below: -

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rrhh4FVf5aA

 

Compensatory rest

 

This is a topic that has frequently come to the Federations attention and it is now time to deal with the confusion that is being caused.

Currently, officers who work into their 11 hours between shifts are either being given ‘Special paid leave’ or required to take leave/TOIL to cover the rest period that is required between shifts.

The Federations position on this is wholly different and the current stance needs to be corrected.

E.g. Officer A is working 07:00 – 16:00. The officer is required to remain on duty until 22:00. They are due back in at 07:00 the following day. This means that they have only had 9 hours between shifts resulting in 2 hours of rest lost.

The officer would have claimed overtime under the Police Regulations 2003 for 6 hours at either time / pay at time and a third.

The officer is also subject to the Working Time Regulations 1998 Compensatory Rest, which means that the officer is entitled to rest. In this example, 2 hours of rest. It is not for the shift to be moved at the detriment of the officer or for the officer to take leave / TOIL to compensate for the rest. It is rest that you need and are entitled to in order to recuperate. You must treat both legislations separate but in parallel when applying the conditions set. Simply put you cannot buy out the need for rest.

The force has been trying to use Special Paid leave (SPL) to bridge this gap and this has caused a rise in SPL that is being used inappropriately. There currently is no mechanism on SAP to record compensatory rest and there is a great deal of confusion amongst all ranks about this topic.

Your well-being is key to the Federation, and we have sought legal advice on this matter. We are ready to negotiate with the force to secure your health and safety and improve your work-life balance. I will update you in due course.

 

Fitness testing

 

Some of you may be aware that the science behind the fitness test was reviewed in July 2023. The fitness test was reviewed against the demands of current Police Safety Training (PST) and it concluded that the cardiovascular demand for an officer during training is no longer 5.4, but 3.7 (Bleep Test).

The force has not yet sent out any communications about this and a policy change will need to be considered. Sussex Police will be sending out some communications about this shortly. PFEW are very clear on their position with this subject; If the science is saying that the requirement is 3.7 to complete PST then there is a risk of discrimination against those that do not meet 5.4 but have made 3.7.  

If any members are being turned away from PST or have concerns around this issue, then please contact your local Federation Representatives to discuss further.

 

Industrial rights

 

For those of you that can remember, this isn’t the first time that PFEW has sought the membership’s view on Industrial rights. This important topic has come up again and it is vital that you have an opportunity to educate yourself and make an informed choice when it comes to voting.

At some point this year, PFEW will be coming to the membership with a simple question; Do you want the Federation to pursue Industrial rights for Police Officers?

This question comes at a very important point in the history of British Policing. We have had the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police successfully lobby the Government for a change in Police Conduct Regulations and remove the independence of Legally Qualified Chairs (LQC). This has returned us back to the 2012 Regulations where the Judge of your misconduct sits with the Chief Constable.

Vetting has been introduced as a second layer of disciplinary to judge your misconduct at an even lower threshold of ‘suspicion’ to remove your vetting status. Thus, sending officers to stage 4 UPP (Gross Incompetence) then leading to dismissal.

There has been a refusal by the Government to engage with the Federation on the introduction of an independent pay review body that can implement pay awards without the need of approval of the Home Secretary. The current Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) is not independent and is subject to restrictions. As you may know already, the Home Secretary has already instructed that the PRRB consider the historic high pay rise the Government issued last year and the financial restrictions that are faced by Parliament. It is sad to say that this shameful comment, to suggest a historic high on the backdrop of years of pay cuts, shows us that our collective bargaining has been diminished.

Nearer to the time, Sussex Federation will be delivering educational packages to the membership so you can have an informed choice. Whatever the result, we will respect your wishes and support the decision made.

 

PFEW National Bravery awards nominee

 

I am very Proud to mention that our PFEW National Bravery Nominee for 2024 is Sgt Alec Barrett. You can read more about Sgt Barrett’s brave actions here.

Alec, thank you for your sacrifice and service to the public.

 

Meet the Team – Federation Representatives

We are eager for our members to actively communicate with the Federation Workplace Reps to highlight any ongoing local issues. Each division’s Fed reps hold quarterly meetings with their Command Team to communicate these issues, however, if you don’t tell your local Reps about it, we won’t know about it

To find out who your local reps are, please click here.

 

Former Chair - Daren Egan

 

Finally, I would like to take a moment to acknowledge the incredible work done by my predecessor, Daren Egan CE190, who has taken our Federation to new heights. I am committed to building upon the legacy that was left behind.

Daren, thank you for your leadership and commitment to our Branch. You have been an inspiration to most and a thorn to those that chose to do our member’s harm. Good luck in your new venture abroad.

You will be missed. 11.

 

Kind regards,

 

Raff Cioffi

Chair, Sussex Police Federation