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A DECISION to backdate a pay increase to September for police support workers, the same deal being denied police officers, will "light the blue touch paper", Merseyside police Federation said today.

Officers within the force are furious that civilian staff have been offered the settlement they have been fighting for.

Today, the region's federation said up to 500 Merseyside Police officers, including senior inspectors, are set to attend a mass demonstration at Parliament in London.

The backdated rise will also apply to those working as custody, forensics and police community support officers.

But Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is refusing to approve the same deal for police officers, backdating the 2.5% instead to December.

The move has led to widespread anger and even suggestions of officers striking, something which is currently illegal.

Some officers have openly discussed working to rule ideas like not policing Premiership games at Anfield andGoodison.

Ian Leyland, spokesman for Merseyside Police Federation, said: "This latest decision has intensified the anger and is the final nail in the coffin formany.

"I have been inundated with calls and text messages."

The 2.5% pay deal was decided through the independent Police Arbitration Tribunal. It will see all police constables paid a minimumof pounds 21,500, while those withthe longest servicewill get pounds 33,800.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: "The Police Staff Council is responsible for setting the pay of police staff including Police Community Support Officers. The Home Office does not support the Police Staff Council employer side offer."
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Dec 20, 2007
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