999 call handlers to walkout on New Year's Eve after Met civilian staff agree to strike
PUBLISHED: 11:17 24 December 2013 | UPDATED: 12:10 24 December 2013
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Up to 7,500 civilian police staff could walkout on New Year's Eve in London after union members agreed to strike in a dispute over pay with the Met.
Those balloted include emergency call handlers, PCSOs and detention officers in custody suites.
In anticipation of the industrial action the police force has cancelled annual leave for officers and is making contingency plans to cover one of the busiest days of the year in the capital.
Union officials met last Friday to discuss a way forward in the dispute, but with no improved offer it felt as a ‘last resort’ it needed to call out members.
A statement from the PCS union said: “Our members voted almost three to one for strike action after a below inflation one per cent rise was imposed by the Met last month.”
The strike coincides with a walkout by London firefighters, who are also due to go on strike across England and Wales tonight.
Fire stations across London will shut their doors at 7pm tonight, and not reopen until at least midnight, with London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson urging people to take care cooking the Christmas turkey and prevent any fires.