West Midlands Police Federation Joint Branch Board is a part of the Police Federation of England and Wales, which is the representative body for every Police officer below the rank of Superintendent. It was established by the Police Act 1919, to provide the Police with a means of bringing their views on welfare and the efficiency of the police service to the notice of the government and to the police authorities.
All the elected officials of the Police Federation must be serving police officers. Police officers are not permitted to belong to trades unions and are prohibited by regulations from taking any part in politics. The federation does, however, liaise with public sector trade unions and has excellent relationships with the TUC and all political parties. Under the provisions of the Police Act, the police are forbidden to strike, and must at all times obey the lawful orders of senior officers. Police pay, allowances, pensions and conditions of service are negotiated nationally in the Police Negotiating Board, which covers all police services within the United Kingdom.
How We Are Organised
There are 43 Police forces in England and Wales. Each is a branch of the National Police Federation and negotiates directly with the chief officer and the police authority. Normally, the national chairman will not comment to the media on a local matter that does not have national implications, and such enquiries should be directed to the Chairman of West Midlands Police Federation.
- All Federation officials, local and national, are elected for three year terms and are eligible for re-election when a term expires.
- An annual conference is held each year, usually in May. All branch boards and committees of the Federation have a reserved seat for a woman.
- The Chairman, Deputy Chair, Secretary,Deputy Secretary, Treasurer and Deputy Treasurer of the joint branch board are elected to office by members of the Joint Branch Board.
How We Serve Our Members
The federation raises voluntary contributions from its members. The funds of the federation are used mainly to provide services to members. Subject to the discretion of the national joint central committee, free legal and medical advice and assistance is provided to enable members to pursue civil claims for damages for such things as injuries sustained in traffic and other kinds of accidents; defamation arising from Police duty; and criminal assaults. The funds can also be used to assist officers who are involved in equal opportunities cases. The Federation also provides legal advice and assistance to members who are charged with certain criminal offences, arising wholly from the course of their duties. It also pays for legal assistance to members facing serious disciplinary allegations.
It is the member who takes legal action. The Federation simply provides the financial backing, within the rules of the funds (which are approved by the annual conferences).It is therefore wrong to say that the Federation is suing in an individual case. Nor does the provision of legal assistance from the funds imply that the Federation is "backing" a member facing a criminal or disciplinary charge. All members are treated equally, and the Federation does not take a prior view on the merits of a case, where this is a matter for the courts or the disciplinary authority .
Role of a Federation Representative
Key responsibility One – To Understand the Purpose, Structure and Current Objectives of the Federation
- Know and understand the current Federation aims, objectives, structures, roles and responsibilities at local LPU and Joint Branch Board.
- Maintain contact with both their Joint Branch Board Secretary and their separate Rank Board Secretaries.
- Attend all Joint Branch Board, separate rank board and committee meetings and participate on behalf of those members they are representing.
Key responsibility Two - Representing and Advising Members
- Advise members on matters concerning Police Regulations, Grievance/Resolution Procedures, and initial action on discipline matters, and any other matters that require their action.
- Take responsibility for resolving an issue or inform the principal officer of the relevant standing committee (Personnel, Discipline, Health and Safety) for advice/guidance.
- Ensure there is close monitoring of members who are off sick, suspended from duty, or on maternity leave, and keep the Joint Branch Board office informed of their progress.
Key Responsibility Three-Communicating With Members and Force Managers
- Keep members informed on local, force and national issues.
- Recognise and identify those people who have influence within their working environment, and to endeavour to develop a working relationship with these individuals.
- Be prepared to challenge inappropriate behaviour and language, which undermine the six strands of diversity i.e. race, gender, religion, disability, sexuality and age.
Key Responsibility Four- Managing Casework
- Develop a close working relationship with the LPU/Departmental Management teams and fellow LPU Reps.
- Be able to intervene at an early stage with mediation, advocacy or conflict resolution techniques.
- Reply promptly to all correspondence.
Key Responsibility Five- Managing Yourself and Your Learning
- Fully understand what your role is and continually seek to improve your knowledge and understanding of Police Regulations, Police Misconduct and any other appropriate legislation to ensure advice given to members is correct.
- Attend various Police Federation courses and other training as and when nominated by the Joint Branch Board.
- Being a federation representative whether locally or nationally requires commitment and often means up giving up your own time to help the members. When attending any event/course on behalf of the Joint Branch Board the cost of travelling, meals and accommodation will be reimbursed.