Thousands of Metropolitan Police civilian staff, including 999 call handlers, are set to strike on New Year’s Eve, the PCS union has said.

The planned strike in London will coincide with a walkout by firefighters in the capital, which could result in around 7,500 civil service workers taking action on one of the busiest days of the year.

Police and community support officers, 999 call handling staff and detention officers as well as a range of administrative staff are among those who would take action.

The strike was called after a below-inflation 1 per cent rise was imposed by the Met Police last month.

Kim Hendry of the PCS said: ‘Police staff feel undervalued and underpaid. We have members forced to take second jobs, or use payday loans, just to keep afloat.

‘Our demands are entirely reasonable – last year the Met saved over £50 million on the police staff budget due to job cuts.

‘Just some of that money should be used to fund a decent pay rise, and they are calling on the commissioner and the deputy mayor to demonstrate that they genuinely value the hard work and commitment of police staff.’

The Met, which described the 1 per cent pay increase as ‘at the ceiling’ of public sector pay policy, has already cancelled leave for police officers and is making contingency plans.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: ‘These are clearly all steps we’d rather not take, but we have to be prepared to maintain critical operational areas in the event of a strike action by police staff, and we are confident that we have appropriate plans in place.’

source: metro UK