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Cortes Condemns "Contemptuous" Treatment of TSSA members by Joint Chairs responsible for BTP Merger

25 July 2018

Manuel Cortes yesterday condemned the Joint Chairs of the BTP Programme Board, who are responsible for driving through the merger of British Transport Police(BTP) and Police Scotland, after they left a Staff Engagement Event without answering membersÂ’ questions.

The meeting with BTP staff and officers was called as part of a series of “Engagement Events” designed to address anxieties over potential changes to pensions, terms and conditions and career expectations.

TSSA members were flabberghasted after both chairs left the meeting before it was finished with questions still left unanswered. Other members of the board were left to answer questions and had no defence to offer for the Joint Chairs’ actions.

Cortes said, “The meeting was already a farce. Discussions about the merger – which is opposed by trade unions Police Officers and staff - have been going on for over 2 and a half years now with no end in sight.

Our members are worried about what will happen to their pension, their terms and conditions and their career opportunities. They want to know what’s going to happen next. The engagement event could not give them any reassurances at all.

“The two chairs left separately, but there was easily ¾ hour left to the event when the second one went. It’s a slap in the face to our members, and those of our sister union the BTP Police Federation who made the effort to be there when the people in chare of their fate can’t be bothered to stay to answer questions. The meeting was clearly scheduled until 5pm and the Joint Chairs should have made the effort to be there.

“Humza Yousaf, in his new role as Justice Minister should be demanding an explanation for their contemptuous treatment of our members.

“This merger is unwanted, unnecessary, and looking increasingly unworkable. Two and half years into organising the merger and members still can’t be assured what’s going to happen to their pensions or terms and conditions. It’s time to call a halt to the entire merger.”

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