POLITICS

London Metropolitan Police Staff To Join Tube Workers On Strike

06/02/2014 17:11 GMT | Updated 06/02/2014 17:59 GMT
Peter Macdiarmid via Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: Scotland Yard - headquarters of the Metropolitan Police on October 24, 2013 in London, England. Eight Romanian and three Polish officers are to work in London alongside Metropolitan police officers over a two-year period in the fight against offenders from abroad. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

Thousands of Metropolitan police civilian staff are set to walk out for two days in a row over pay, a move that will coincide with the London Tube strikes planned next week.

The staff walking out include the 999 call handlers, support officers, and those who work in custody suites and support victims of crime, who are protesting against a prospective 1% pay rise, which is effectively a cut once inflation is factored in.

The Public and Commercial Services Union, which represents around 7,500 Met staff, the 48-hour stoppage over 13 and 14 February will coincide with the next industrial action planned by the RMT and TSSA unions.

The PCS claim that police staff are increasingly turning to payday loans to survive, something that could technically lead to disciplinary action to be taken against them.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "It ought to bring shame on the Met that staff who help to keep London safe are being driven into the arms of loan sharks because of low pay."

He added: "The Met is not short of money and does not have to ape the government's politically motivated pay policies that have fuelled the longest decline in wages on record."

A Met spokesman said the employer had already paid police staff a 1% wage increase last November, the maximum under government policy. However, the PCS union claim that the Met is not bound by the government pay cap.

"The PCS has until the end of the week to decide whether to call off their action and to engage in the positive areas we have proposed," he said.

"Any strike action taken will not result in a movement on pay as this is not affordable.

"We want to reassure Londoners that the MPS has taken the necessary steps to ensure that in the event of strike action, our essential services to London will continue."