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Police debate 'right to strike'

By Matthew McCreary

The Police Federation in Northern Ireland is to meet today to discuss an ongoing nationwide pay dispute between police and the Government.

The meeting comes after officers across Britain made an unprecedented call yesterday for the Home Secretary's resignation as a bitter pay row reached boiling point.

Officers in Britain are to take part in a historic vote on whether they want to seek the right to go on strike.

Terry Spence of the Police Federation for Northern Ireland said a meeting would be held today in Belfast to discuss the matter.

"As a result of that meeting we will decide what course of action we're going to take next," said Mr Spence. "I would anticipate that there will be a ballot, I would anticipate that we will take part in a major demonstration in London in early January, I do anticipate that we will lobby MPs and politicians of influence across the United Kingdom on this particularly sensitive issue."

Yesterday's moves intensified pressure on the Government, which has steadfastly refused to back down in the angry row, triggered by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith's decision to stage their 2.5% pay deal.

Following an emergency meeting of hundreds of delegates in Westminster, officers backed a formal ballot on whether they should begin to overturn current laws banning them from industrial action.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph