Federation says pay award is ‘step in right direction’
The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) has welcomed the 2.5 per cent pay award for police officers as “a step in the right direction”, but says it members deserve more.
The Home Office today (July 21) announced it will accept in full the recommendations of the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) – the independent body that advises the Government on what police officers should be paid.
Reacting to the news, PFEW national chair John Apter said: “In the current financial climate with so much uncertainty, the fact the Government has fully accepted the recommendations of the PRRB will come as a relief.
“The 2.5 per cent increase in pay across all ranks is a step in the right direction and, whilst it is less than we asked for, will be broadly welcomed against a backdrop of financial pressures on the economy. Do my colleagues deserve more? Absolutely, and the Government must go further to pay officers fairly for the unique and dangerous job they do.
“However, with the economic vulnerability we face as a country, many colleagues will be relieved to receive a 2.5 per cent pay increase – anything lower would have been completely unacceptable.”
The pay rise – which will come into effect on September 1, 2020 – equates to around an extra £1,100 of pensionable salary a year for a constable, when allowances are taken into account. The increase is identical to that made in 2019.
In its submission to the PRRB in February, the PFEW, in conjunction with the Police Superintendents’ Association, called for a pay uplift of five per cent across all ranks.
This figure was calculated on the basis that, over the past ten years, when using the Consumer Price Index (including housing) method of calculating inflation, police officer pay has fallen in real terms by 8.7 per cent – and when the Retail Price Index is used that figure becomes 18 per cent.
Mr Apter added: “This is not as much as we asked for – but it is more than many of our colleagues expected. And it is positive to see the Government abiding by proper process and accepting all the recommendations of the PRRB. This has not always been the case.
“We will continue to fight to get our members the pay they deserve following a real-terms cut of 18 per cent during the last decade, the effects of which have taken their toll.”
As well as the pay rise, which is applicable across all ranks, the Government announced:
- London Weighting and the Dog Handlers’ Allowance is to increase by 2.5 per cent;
- Removal of the lowest point on the sergeants’ pay scale; and
- The maximum rate of London Allowance to increase by £1,000 to £5,338 a year for officers appointed on or after September 1, 1994, and not receiving Replacement Allowance
NPCC lead for pay and conditions, Chief Constable Matt Jukes, said: “The commitment of our officers to keeping our communities safe every day, not least during the recent challenging period, rightly deserves recognising.
“Given our difficult financial times, it is very welcome news the government has accepted the Pay Remuneration Review Body’s recommendation for an increase in police pay above the rate of inflation.
“Chief Constables welcome the endorsement of our proposals on targeted variable pay and sergeants’ pay. Taken together this will contribute to ensuring specific roles in the service are filled and to supporting the ongoing recruitment of officers.”