Scots pay rise ‘salt in wounds’ for other UK officers

27 September 2018

Police officers in Scotland get a pay rise

News that police officers in Scotland will receive a 6.5% pay rise risks rubbing salt in the wounds of officers in England and Wales.

It was announced on Wednesday that officers north of the border, below the rank of Assistant Chief Constable, will get an immediate uplift from the Scottish government as part of a three year pay deal. A mid-point constable will see their pay bolstered by £2,300 and have earned an additional £6,000 over the next 31 months.

This contrasts with the 2% awarded to their police colleagues in England and Wales in July, which the Federation branded ‘derisory’. We pointed out at the time that 1% of that rise is money from last year that was given as a one off and not consolidated, and the remainder is actually only an 0.85% increase once inflation is taken into account.

PFEW National Chair John Apter said: "Whilst this is positive news for our colleagues in Scotland it is hard to stomach for their colleagues in England and Wales. For the second year running the government at Westminster chose to ignore the recommendations of the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) awarding a miserly increase that amounts to around £2.50 extra per week.

“It goes without saying that officers certainly don’t do the job for the money, but it is unacceptable to see colleagues struggling to meet ends meet at the end of every month – the Scottish government has shown its support for policing, they have delivered more than warm words which is what is needed from our government. Officers are sick of pleasantries from politicians which in reality they mean nothing. For a government to show such contempt for those who put their lives on the line for the public is shameful."

The increase for Scotland will come into effect from 1 September 2018 and will cover the 31 month period to 1 September 2021. It is expected to cost an additional £125million, according to the Scottish Police Authority.

Calum Steele, general secretary of the Scottish Police Federation, said: "It is worth noting that even allowing for the extended period of this pay award, this represents the greatest uplift to police pay for over 20 years and the value of immediate payment on pay and pension as opposed to an extended year deal cannot be ignored."