Police Association backtracking

Stuff reports:

Police officers have responded with anger after their union reduced their pay offer to the Government at the eleventh hour of negotiations.

The union and the Government have entered into “final offer arbitration”. It’s an all-or-nothing, winner takes all dispute resolution process – where an independent arbitrator will pick either the Government or Police Association’s pay offer.

After more than a year of pay negotiations, police entered into arbitration – a unique process designed to ensure police officers don’t strike.

Police Association president Chris Cahill emailed unionised staff on Thursday evening to tell them the offer sent to the arbitrator was lower than the final offer put to the Government during negotiations in April.

“Because it is final offer arbitration in which the winner takes all, the assessment of your pay advisers and directors was to revise down our offer,” he said.

This is basically an admission that the Government’s offer was more likely to be found by the arbitrator to be fairer than what the Police Association was demanding. That is the only reason you would suddenly lower your offer for arbitration.

I’m not surprised officers are upset, because arguably the Police Association has misled them as to how generous the Government’s offer really was (first ever overtime penal rates).

It will be very interesting to see what the arbitrator decides, and what the actual gap is between the two final offers.

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