16 March 2017
TSSA welcome what appears to be partial climbdown by British Transport Police (BTP) as they drawback from imposing a new 1am clock-off shift which means Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) in London could not get trains home at night.
Earlier this week TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, warned BTP bosses they would face a ballot on industrial action if they forced PCSOs to work the new roster, due to start next month, as the new shift - dubbed the "can't get home" shift finishes after the last trains leave London.
BTP employ 330 PCSOs almost half at London stations but, because they can't afford London housing, London PCSOs themselves depend on trains in and out of home counties to the commute to work.
In a memo to PCSOs yesterday, BTP now say that local managers can agree local finish times should PCSOs have difficulties with the 1am finish.
Said TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes,"It appears there is now some willingness by the British Transport Police (BTP) to resolve the issue that would see Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) having to sleep on park benches from next month, with local managers given flexibility to agree different finishing times. But their climbdown is only partial and national shift rosters and duty of care issues should not be left to the discretion of local managers to sort".
"BTP have backed themselves into a hole on this one. And the first rule of holes is to stop digging. Having had their plans exposed by the media, the sensible thing for BTP to do now is sit down with us, the union who represents their PCSOs and negotiate new rostering arrangements with a midnight - rather 1am - knock-off time which is fair and safeguards both the travelling public and our members.
"As an act of good faith, we will put plans to ballot on industrial action on hold, and will give BTP a little more time to negotiate including involving the Arbitration Advisory and Conciliation Service, if that proves necessary".