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Standoff escalates

Thursday, 24th November, 2011

NSW Police officers have to wait to take their industrial action to the next level which could have them refusing to respond to any but the most serious emergencies.

The police aren’t happy with the State Government’s proposed changes to their Death and Disability Scheme and have voted to up the ante.

Matt Thomson from the NSW Police Association (Western Region) said the members at Tuesday’s rally in Sydney decided to go to an electronic vote.

“We asked if we should go to an electronic vote to go to stage four (the next stage of industrial action). This will mean police only attend the most urgent emergencies.”

Mr Thomson said the Australian Electoral Commission will conduct the voting.

“We are hoping to have an answer on how quickly it can be done, but it is up to the AEC,” he said.

He said if they go to the next stag it will mean they will only attend emergencies such as armed robberies, murder, serious assault and serious car accidents.

“If the job is life-threatening we will attend.”

Police will also refuse to appear in court to give evidence.

But Barrier Local Area Commander, Superintendent Brad Hodder, said until the vote was taken, it would be ‘business as usual’.

“The Barrier Local Area Command will be conducting policing business and responding to the community’s needs at the moment and we will address the level four industrial relation action if and when it arises,” he said.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Michael Gallacher, said the Government was maintaining its commitment to fix the Death and Disability Scheme to ensure its long-term viability.

“The reality is we were elected to fix the mess left by the former Labor Government in NSW and if we don’t fix the Death and Disability Scheme now we won’t have a scheme for the future,” Mr Gallacher said.

“The NSW Government has listened to the concerns raised by police during negotiations on their Death and Disability Scheme.

“Negotiations have continued after the introduction of the Bill to Parliament, and agreement has been reached on some matters.

“In response to the Government’s proposal the NSW Police Association provided the Government with their counter-proposal to the Death & Disability changes proposed in the Bill.”

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