Government's pay rise figures are a joke

13 September 2017

The Government stating that police officers have had a 32% pay rise since 2010* is a joke – and is in fact a downright lie when it comes to the majority of officers, national Vice Chair Calum Macleod said.

"It shows they have lost touch with reality, if they ever had it, and are clueless as to the demands and dangers officers have to face on a daily basis to keep communities safe. Officers are struggling to keep their heads above water and all we are asking for is fair recognition.

"When comparing total pay in 2015/2016 to what it was in 2009/2010 it has increased in nominal terms by +2%, but decreased by -16% in real terms. This cannot be right.

"We expect police officers to run in to the face of danger every day to protect the public. However, the Government refuses to give them the money they deserve. This has to be addressed and the Government has to be held to account. How can they abide by their independent pay bodies, which recommended an 11% pay rise for MPs, but fail to abide by ours (which recommended a 2% consolidated)? This smacks of double standards."

​A number of members have voiced their intention to reject this year's pay award because their forces cannot afford to fund it, and they don’t want to add to the pressure. The Government has been very disingenuous with its pay offer, announcing a ‘pay rise’, but not giving any money to pay for it - all of it must come from existing force budgets.

While wanting to refuse the award for the good of the service is a noble intention, it isn’t within our power to stop the award being paid now that the Government has made their decision. While some officers may want to refuse it, for others the award means an important difference in their pay packet - however small it might be.

Our members are angry and frustrated. We have and will continue to robustly present their views on police pay to the Police Remuneration Review Body.


We understand the Government’s 32% figure to be based on a new Police Officer who started in 2010 with a starting salary of approx. £23,000, who today - through annual pay progression - would earn approx. £35,000.

That figure does not apply to the majority of officers. More than 50% of officers are at top of scale - so do not benefit from progression payments.

Such a new starter in 2010 would represent less than 4% of all officers.

Source: The PNB Census of Earnings, Hours and Length of Service shows that from April 2010 to March 2011 there were 2063 officers with zero years’ service (ie new officers).

Our figures (below) refer to averages and total pay (taken from HO earnings data) and take account of the fact that more than 50% of officers are at top of scale and do not do not benefit from progression payments.

The one percent consolidated pay increase amounts to the following for an average officer, taking off average pension, NI contributions etc

Actual real term figures:

Average basic salary all fed ranks - £517 extra in take home pay, yearly (less than £10 a week)

Average total pay all fed ranks (so includes overtime etc) - £588 extra in take home, yearly

Average basic salary Constables                - £491 extra in take home, yearly

Average total pay Constables                     - £562 extra take home yearly

When comparing total pay in real terms in 2015/2016 to what it was in 2009/2010 it has increased in nominal terms by +2%, but decreased by -16% in real terms.

The basic pay figure for all Constables, ie the majority of police officers, was -11%.