Echuca police to take part in industrial action

By Ivy Jensen

ECHUCA police are expected to start industrial action on Monday as Victoria Police’s fight for a pay rise escalates.

Officers across the state plan to flash their lights to warn motorists about speed cameras, write slogans on their vehicles, stop working unpaid overtime and stop writing tickets, collecting statistics and preparing advice for government departments and officials, except in emergencies, after Victorian Police Union demands for a four per cent pay rise were refused by the Victorian Government.

Police Association secretary Wayne Gatt said police would also help children cross the road in school zones as a show of support for the community.

Victoria Police is reassuring the community that frontline services and public safety will not be impacted.

Fairfax Media reported the union received overwhelming support for industrial action after a ballot of 17,200 members across the state.

“That [ballot] comes off the back of six months of negotiations during a process that has not crept up on anybody, not hit anybody by surprise. It's something everybody knew on was on the cards for four years,” Mr Gatt said.

Mr Gatt said the industrial action would not "endanger or reduce public safety".

“The community should expect to see more of their police as a result of this action,” he said.

A Victoria Police spokesperson told the Riv on Friday it had been meeting with the union regularly over the past few months to work through a number of issues relating to the 2019 enterprise bargaining agreement.

“We have made significant progress and are confident of reaching an agreement that not only delivers better pay and conditions for members, but an improved service delivery for the community,” the spokesperson said.

“Knowing there were still a few items to work through, we have been planning for potential industrial action which we now know will occur.

“The community can be reassured that frontline policing services will continue to be provided and will not be impacted by the planned action.”

Mr Gatt said the action would continue until the dispute was resolved.