Northern Ireland

PSNI civilian staff to strike for 24 hours in dispute over ‘danger money’

NIPSA members voted ‘overwhelmingly’ in favour of the strike action

A stock picture of a Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) logo badge in Derry City in Northern Ireland.
NIPSA members of the PSNI are expected to stage a 24-hour walk-out (Niall Carson/PA)

PSNI staff are set to take strike action on July 11 in a dispute over “danger money” payments.

NIPSA members are expected to stage a 24-hour walk-out ahead of the annual Orange Order parades on July 12.

NIPSA said on Friday that members within the PSNI had voted “overwhelmingly” in favour of the action with the union also planning to commence action short of strike action at the start of July.

Around 1,500 staff who work in custody suites, crime scenes and call handling, could take part in the action.

The union said the strike centres on the issue of “revised environmental allowance” (REA), more commonly known as “danger money”.

Police civilian staff are calling for an uplift to their £580 annual REA, that was committed to five years ago.

PSNI officers currently receive just under £4,000 annually in acknowledgement of the ongoing threat they face.

NIPSA said 91% voted for strike action and 96% voted for action short of strike action, which the union said “shows the anger amongst members”.

“NIPSA members within the PSNI are under threat and undervalued which has effectively created a two-tier workforce due to the disparities in pay and terms & conditions,” the union added.

“Increasing the REA would help to establish a stronger foundation for equality.

“The decision to prioritise the increase of police officers’ danger money by 7%, while neglecting the agreed increase for police staff, has angered NIPSA members following a turbulent year of heightened risk, exacerbated by the recent high-profile data breach.

Justice Minister Naomi Long, whose department provides the PSNI budget, previously said the PSNI had “not demonstrated that the uplift is affordable”.

Speaking about the planned industrial action by NIPSA, PSNI temporary assistant chief constable, Melanie Jones said: “Planning is underway to mitigate any risk in critical functions in the event of staff absences as a result of this industrial action.

“I want to reassure the public that we will have the resources in place to allow us to keep people safe.”