To All Members
This circular is to clarify the situation with regards the Overtime work currently being carried out by the Force.
In June, the DPF produced a number of films where members spoke about their concerns around the major issues affecting the Force. Within one of these films it was highlighted that any reduction would mean officers being required to work more overtime, over and above that which they were already carrying out to meet the station needs or tasks.
The Force therefore decided to carry out a review of overtime across the Force where it realized some officers were potentially working excessive amounts, and in some cases, being detailed.
The DCC having been given the information, established an operation (Hodder) to assess what the implications were for the Force and its officers and how these could be mitigated.
Legal advice for the Force and DPF on detailing of overtime was specific in that it should be for exigencies and not for shortfalls caused by the failure to properly resource affected stations.
The DCC therefore gave a clear instruction that all overtime must be managed appropriately to manage risk. Over the last few weeks the Force has been looking at ways of reducing overtime, so that they meet any legislative obligations.
The DPF would like to clarify, that although some are suggesting otherwise, the DPF have never made a statement that officers should not work overtime. It is not for the DPF to ever suggest this, as it’s the prerogative of each individual what hours are worked. The DPF believe the Force actually owes an immense gratitude to all who have worked overtime over a considerable number of years, thus enabling the Force to meet its complimented tasks.
The DPF have been clear that there are areas of concern and have therefore made the following statements with regards overtime:
1. That the resetting of the Force and reducing the Force by 160 officers would increase the overtime burden on our members.
2. That it is the DPF opinion that all shortfalls in staffing levels should be addressed, which in turn would reduce overtime.
3. That all of our members have a right to a private and family life.
4. The DPF have clearly stated that overtime is determined by an officer’s availability, unless an exigency, and officers should not be as a matter of course detailed or have rest days moved unless in accordance with PRG’s.
5. That it is not the individual’s responsibility to give overtime away if they are unavailable, that lies with the Force. However, the officer should inform the Force at the earliest opportunity of their unavailability.
6. Those who do not wish to carry out overtime should not be coerced into agreeing to overtime.
7. That there was a need for the waivers around overtime to be updated.
The DPF have concerns about how this impacts on the GSSOR’s, but are assured the Force are engaging with the Department and assessing how any shortfalls will be addressed.