Page last updated at 11:58 GMT, Friday, 4 July 2008 12:58 UK

Strike agreed at 999 call centre

Police control
Staff at Hampshire's police control centre requested a strike ballot

Staff at Hampshire Constabulary's control centre have agreed to strike action over changes to work conditions.

Unison, which represents employees at the centre in Netley, balloted its 110 members of the 188-strong workforce.

Out of 69 responses, about 76% agreed to strike action over changes to shift patterns and the loss of overtime pay.

Deputy Chief Constable Ian Readhead, of Hampshire police, said: "All 999 calls will still be answered and the response to emergencies will not be affected."

No date for the action has been set.

The move comes in protest at a move from a working pattern of four 12-hour shifts followed by four days off, to six 10-hour shifts followed by four days off. In a statement, Unison said it would result in the loss of between 60 and 95 overtime pay per month.

A strike will not remove the need for the constabulary to implement changes
Deputy Chief Constable Ian Readhead

The union said there would be increased costs for employees in their additional journeys to work and a worse work/life balance.

Also, they said there had been a lack of job re-evaluation.

Mr Readhead said: "We have already prepared contingency plans in order to continue to provide a full emergency response service.

"Nevertheless it's disappointing that some of those UNISON members within the control room who cast their vote have decided to vote for industrial action to pursue their interests.

"A strike will not remove the need for the constabulary to implement changes that are believed to have significant benefits.

"The new shift pattern for the control room is already worked by colleagues across much of the force."

Unison officials and Hampshire Constabulary management are due to meet to discuss the issue next Monday.

Strike threat at 999 call centre
04 Jun 08 |  Hampshire

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