As you may be aware, every member of the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) is being asked to vote on whether they want the Federation to seek to obtain industrial rights for police officers.

Prior to the PFEW annual conference in May 2012, the Joint Central Committee accepted as policy a motion to ballot all members on whether they wished the PFEW to seek industrial rights on their behalf.

This is the most important decision members have been asked to make since the Federation was established in 1919. There are many factors you will have to consider before casting your votes. It is therefore crucial that you know exactly what is meant by the term ‘industrial rights’, what their introduction would mean for police officers and what chance we have of obtaining them.

It is with a great sense of regret that we find ourselves in this position. However, the Federation recognises that changes to police pay and conditions, 20% cuts to the policing budget, the impact of police pension reforms and the looming threat of compulsory severance have all contributed to a time of unprecedented uncertainty and discontent among police officers.

The aim of this document is not to sway you to vote one way or the other. It is to ensure that come 31 January, 2013, you have the information you need to make a decision you feel will be most beneficial to police officers and the service we provide to the public in future years.

Steve Williams
Chair-Elect, Police Federation of England and Wales
November 2012