Cops take legal action against their boss
HIGH-RANKING police wanting to go overseas on professional development courses claim they are being unfairly knocked back and have sensationally summonsed Commissioner Ian Stewart to court over the issue.
But superiors within the Queensland police service (QPS) claim some courses are offered internally or in Australia, have suggested international travel at times is "not a prudent use of public funds", or are knocking back airfares if officers attach extra leave to a trip.
Commissioned officers, ranked Inspector to Chief Superintendent, are entitled to professional development of about $6000 a year to attend courses and get extra qualifications. They must take leave when doing so.
In some cases officers applying to travel interstate or overseas want to include extra days before or after the course.
But the high-ranking officers say the QPS has started knocking back requests or stating they will pay for accommodation but not airfares.
The Queensland Police Commissioned Officers' Union has launched civil action against the QPS over claims of a breach of the Enterprise Bargaining Agreement in which entitlements have not been paid.
"We agreed to do it in our own time, we're taking holidays to develop ourselves," an officer said.
In one case an inspector requested to go to a three-day conference in Bordeaux, France. The officer then planned a private six-week holiday.
But the request was knocked back, citing the officer could get the development either internally in the QPS or domestically and international travel was "not a prudent use of public funds".
After the rejection, the officer still attended the course for his own development.
In another case an inspector wanted to travel to a four-day International Women in Police conference in Canada, planned after a two-week private holiday. The conference was approved but international travel costs were rejected.
The matter is expected to go before court next month.