Illawarra Mercury: Police union head calls for ‘fair go’ at Wollongong conference

The president of the Police Association of NSW has called on the state government to give the state’s police officers a “fair go” in pay and conditions, at the union’s biennial conference in Wollongong.

More than 120 delegates from across NSW have descended on the city for the conference, although this is a smaller number than initially expected because of the floods.ADVERTISING

In his opening address to the delegates, association president Tony King spoke about the union’s pay and conditions dispute with the state government, which has gone to the Industrial Relations Commission.

The union is calling for a 2.5 per cent pay rise, backdated to last July, among other conditions; it now awaits the commission’s decision.

Mr King told the Illawarra Mercury that politicians praised the work of police officers, but forced them to fight for “fair pay and conditions”. “We just want a fair go,” Mr King said.

But he said there was support on other issues, such as the government’s plan to introduce the mandatory testing of offenders who deliberately exposed police officers to bodily fluids.

The workload of NSW police officers had grown by 30 per cent due to COVID-19, he said, yet crime rates continued to fall or remain stable.

NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Mal Lanyon, who spoke at the conference, said police officers were faced with not only the pandemic, but bushfires and floods in recent times.

“Certainly over the last 12 to 15 months, the police force has shown how versatile we can be,” Mr Lanyon said.

He said the police executive and the association executive worked together closely to resolve issues and support officers.

This year’s conference is a special one, as the association celebrates its centenary.

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