Federation to campaign for collective bargaining over pay


PUBLISHED 09 Jul 2024

IN News

Cambridgeshire Police Federation secretary Scott Houghton says the new Government’s commitment to sit down with striking junior doctors and negotiate over their pay is another example of why the police pay review process has to be changed.

Scott was commenting after the results of a nationwide members’ poll revealed that 97.7 per cent of those who took part wanted the staff association to campaign for a fair process of collective bargaining and binding arbitration when the Government considers police officer pay.

“Police officers have seen their pay fall by 20 per cent in real terms in recent years and they felt totally disrespected by the previous Government,” says Scott.

‘They feel the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) which determines police officer pay is far from independent, since it is told by Government what pay award it can consider, regardless of what the evidence submitted to the panel suggests, and then, when it makes its recommendations, the Government can just choose to ignore them. There is no access to arbitration, no negotiation.”

Scott asks: “How can this be fair?”

Police officers accept restrictions on their lives, such as not being able to join a union or take industrial action but, in return, successive governments have respected these limitations.

“We just no longer feel that is the case, and the overwhelming results of this poll really illustrate that,” says Scott, “Before PRRB was established 10 years ago, our pay was determined through the Police Negotiating Board which, as the name suggests, meant we had a degree of negotiation and also access to independent arbitration.

“PRRB is not fit for purpose and we need the new Government to make a commitment to treating officers fairly on pay with a new, independent pay review process with access to collective bargaining and binding arbitration.”

The Police Federation poll on industrial rights ran from 3 to 21 June this year and attracted 50,103 responses.

The Federation’s National Council and National Board will now start to create the campaign for the introduction of a fair and binding pay mechanism.