Police officers should be given a five per cent pay rise from 1 September this year to recognise their role in society, help recruit new officers and encourage existing officers to stay in policing, according to the Police Federation.
The Police Federation and Superintendents’ Association make their case for the five per cent uplift across all ranks in one of 20 recommendations in their annual submission to the Police Remuneration Review Body.
Liz Groom, chair of Cambridgeshire Police Federation, has backed the recommendations.
“While we welcome the fact that the Government is re-investing in policing and aiming to boost officer numbers by 20,000 in the next three years, we need to see an acknowledgement that officer pay has fallen by around 18 per cent in recent years and steps to redress that,” says Liz.
“The Federation’s pay and morale survey last year revealed that nine out of 10 Cambridgeshire respondents did not feel they were fairly paid for the stresses and strains of their job while almost three quarters said they were dissatisfied with their overall remuneration including basic pay and allowances and two thirds felt they were worse off financially now than they were five years ago.
“Shockingly, almost half said they regularly worried about money and one in 10 admitted they never or almost never had enough money to cover their essentials. This cannot be right and does nothing to aid recruitment and retention. While we appreciate police pay may not get back to where it needs to be overnight, a five per cent uplift this year would at least be a step in the right direction.”
Other recommendations in the submission to the independent pay review body include:
- The introduction of a minimum starting salary £24,177
- The removal of the lowest two pay points for constables to help recruitment
- The shortening of the constables’ and sergeants’ pay scales so officers reach the top faster, and
- The introduction of new top pay scale points for all ranks, to incentivise retention.
The recommendations form part of a 143-page report submitted to PRRB and compiled by the Federation’s research and policy support department.
National Federation chair John Apter explains: “For too many years police officers have been treated with contempt by government with their pay having effectively been cut by 18 per cent in real terms over the past decade.
“And while we are starting to see some positive moves from the new Government, ministers now need to show they are serious about their commitment to policing, by paying police officers fairly for the uniquely challenging job they do.
“Some new recruits will be taking home just 15p an hour more than the basic living wage. This sticks in the throat when you hear Government ministers say how much they support our police officers. Support needs to be more than kind words.
“Over the past year we have seen police officers undertaking extreme acts of bravery such as confronting terrorist to protect the public; and tragically we have also lost colleagues in the line of duty. All of which highlight the risks police officers face every day. It truly is a job like no other.”
Last year, the Government implemented the PRRB recommendations, having failed to do so the two previous years with officers receiving a 2.5 per cent pay rise on 1 September 2019.
A series of oral evidence sessions will now take place and the PRRB is expected to make its final recommendation to the Government in July, with any pay award being effective from 1 September 2020.
PFEW and PSA recommendations in full:
Recommendation 1: In considering pay, prioritise how the 20,000 uplift can be achieved.
Recommendation 2: Our second recommendation must be that the pay reform design should be urgently reviewed within the current operating context. We believe that certain features – such as linking pay to assessments of performance – will need to be carefully assessed for practicality.
Recommendation 3: With regard to the benchmarking element of the pay reform, our recommendation is that we continue to work closely together to establish common ground as to the underpinning benchmark methodology, and inclusion and exclusion criteria for this.
Recommendation 4: It is recommended that over the coming year a systematic approach to the valuation of the ‘P Factor’* is undertaken, perhaps following the steps suggested by the staff associations
Recommendation 5: Until such time as a systematic evaluation is undertaken, the ‘P Factor’ should be assumed to be 14.5 per cent, in keeping with the military ‘X Factor’.
Recommendation 6: It is recommended that the NPCC reconsiders the method currently being used to introduce variable pay.
Recommendation 7: For the NPCC to seek independent scrutiny of its pay reform plans.
Recommendation 8: We therefore recommend that the PRRB accepts the NPCC’s recommendation that the Targeted Variable Payment is uplifted to £5,000: but we seek for Recommendation 7 to also be accepted.
Recommendation 9: It is recommended that the number of points on the constable pay scale be reduced from the current nine points (-1, £18,450 through to 7, £40,128) to five or six points and enable officers to reach the top faster./p>
Recommendation 10: It is recommended that officers are deemed to be competent unless on Unsatisfactory Performance Procedures, and that progress up the pay scale is only restricted to those not deemed to be competent./p>
Recommendation 11: We agree the NPCC position of removal of the lowest pay point for sergeants, so long as all those on that pay point are immediately moved up to the next pay point. We believe this may help with the need to encourage an extra 1,000 new sergeants over and above the normal targets.>
Recommendation 12: New top of the scale points should be set for all ranks, to incentivise retention.
Recommendation 13: We recommend that a benefits realisation model for the pay reform is produced, outlining the intended benefits, the rationale as to why the NPCC believes that the actions taken will result in these benefits being achieved, and consideration of unintended consequences.
Recommendation 14: NPCC’s Equality Impact Assessment to be assessed by independent, qualified professional.
Recommendation 15: Review of the regulations and determinations drafting process.
Recommendation 16: Remove pay points -1 and 0: set minimum starting salary of £24,177.
Recommendation 17: We recommend an uplift that will start to narrow the gap between the real terms earning of 2010, and today. Taking into account affordability, we seek an across the board uplift of five per cent.
Recommendation 18: A systematic review of the location allowances.
Recommendation 19: We feel that as a minimum, the London Weighting should be uplifted in line with the pay award, and both London and SE Allowances should be increased to be 150 per cent of their current values.
Recommendation 20: Dog Handler’s Allowance should be uprated in line with the overall uplift.
* The ‘P Factor’ recognises the effects and limitations people who undertake the role of a police officer experience and covers elements such as risk to their physical and psychological health, legal constraints and the socio-economic impact. It is similar to the military’s ‘X Factor’.