Police tired of copping it

TWEED police are taking industrial action so they will be looked after if things go wrong.

Grafton detective and Police Association of NSW northern region executive member, Senior Constable Tony King, said police were taking the action to get better terms on a death and disability scheme for officers.

"The industrial action basically involves work to rule," Sen Const King said.

"It's to the officer's discretion on whether to issue traffic and parking infringements. This death and disability scheme gives members the least protection than any other police force in Australia."

Mr King said the industrial action started a week ago.

"We are employed to protect the community and under this scheme we could be left destitute," he said.

"We are happy to negotiate with the government but what they are proposing is totally unacceptable."

The NSW government wants to cut the scheme. NSW Police and Emergency Services Minister Michael Gallacher this week said 600 to 800 officers were on long-term sick leave.

"But those statistics do not convey what I hear from officers on the ground," Mr Gallacher said.

"They say that the scheme is killing morale amongst our officers on the front line.

"It's dividing officers between those who stick with the job and those who are seen to take the money and go."

Mr Gallacher said the death and disability scheme had to go because it did not work.

"Figures provided by the NSW police force suggest that only 2% of officers discharged under the scheme as at May 2011 are back to work without the assistance of government benefits," he said.

"A massive 85% of officers discharged under the scheme are not working at all and are reliant on government benefits."

Mr Gallacher said treasury projected costs associated with the scheme were estimated at $1.9 billion over four years.

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