90 days from today is Fri, 19 April 2019
12 February 2018
The 2018 pay award request has been submitted by the Police Federation of England and Wales, with them requesting a 3.4% increase to Officer pay. The PFEW have also recommended the 1% bonus from last year become consolidated and not form part of this year’s settlement.
The PFEW have supplied substantial evidence along with its submission which highlights to Government the uniqueness of policing, the increasing pressures and demands on police officers and inflation now along with predictions for the year to come.
Greater Manchester Police Federation Chairman, Ian Hanson, has said he thinks 3.4% is the minimum pay rise Officers deserve after them suffering years of eroded pay caused by derisory pay awards and higher inflation.
He said: “My view would be that it would have to be a minimum of a 3.4% pay rise. We've seen, in recent years, exactly what the Great British police service is worth in terms of its response to terrorism, keeping communities safe, and officers going the extra mile in putting their own lives in danger to protect our communities.
“At the same time as that, we've seen a very real erosion of police pay since 2010, to the extent that we've even seen police officers' children having free school meals, police officers going to food banks, police officers not being able to afford to pay their mortgages, and police officers going bankrupt. That can't be right, in any kind of civilised society.
“I'm not saying that we've been treated any different than anybody else, but at a time when we've seen wages in the private sector very much on the rise, and in some cases in excess of inflation, police pay has continued to be eroded in recent years.”
Part of PFEWs submission insists that the 1% element of last year’s uplift that was unconsolidated should now be consolidated, and should not affect this year’s uplift. Ian adds: “Last year we saw a pay rise on the cheap. A 1% bonus. It's great that officers get more money in their pocket, but we must not lose sight of the fact that isn't the way to go forward, an unconsolidated bonus isn't part of a long-term pay package, and we've got to look beyond the immediacy of the extra 1% and look at the future of police payment.”
In his statement regarding the pay review, PFEW Chairman, Calum McLeod, said “The Government must stop patting us on the back with one hand, while picking our pockets with the other. They must honour the PRRB process and implement their recommendation in full.”
Ian agrees that the Government aren’t fairly rewarding Officers for the job they do, and this needs to be seriously considered before the next pay award. He continues:
“I hope the pay rise is awarded, but given this government's track record I'm sceptical.
“For some reason our elected representatives don't seem to have grasped exactly the professionalism and commitment, bravery that's displayed by British police officers.
“In real terms, officers have taken a substantial pay cut. It's affecting individuals, but it's also affecting recruitment and retention. We're losing some really good people who are looking out at elsewhere, which they never would have even considered doing ten years ago. The Government needs to take a very, very close look at what its caused, and take immediate action to paying police officers what they're worth.
“Police officers need to feel that they're valued by the Government. They've never doubted that they're valued by communities because, apart from a few isolated criminals, the overwhelming members of our community do value us and do care about us.
“To put it in the frankest terms, police officers feel completely undervalued and unloved. That can't be any kind of recipe for developing and maintaining such a critical service such as one that performs the most fundamental role of any government, and that's to keep the public safe.”
The Police Remuneration Review Body will consider evidence submitted by interested parties – Police Chiefs, Police and Crime commissioners and Staff Associations – and then advise the Home Secretary, who will make all final decisions on pay.
A decision is likely to come this summer – prior to the pay rise being introduced in September 2018.