Delegates’ vote in favour of increasing Federation subscriptions in line with any police pay rise followed a tough decision-making process, according to Cambridgeshire Police Federation chair Liz Groom.
Liz was speaking after a motion on the subs issue was supported at the national conference yesterday with 221 delegates voting for a rise and 170 voting against.
She explained: “It was a really difficult and tough decision by conference, but subs have not been raised for many years while the costs of everything we do have – from paying branch utility bills to funding vital legal advice when our officers need it most.
“I would not want any service we provide to members to be at risk because the Federation makes a popular decision to not raise subscriptions now.
“Any increase will only come if we get a pay rise, of course, and will only be the same percentage rise as any salary boost. But I appreciate this is the worst possible time for us to be putting up our subscription rates.”
Liz has also asked the national Federation to look at other internal efficiencies, calling for the continued use of virtual meetings to reduce the costs involved in staging in person meetings and training.
“We need to do everything we can to do things more smartly and ensure we are as efficient as possible,” she said, “It is a time for a root and branch review of how we do business so that we can make sure we make savings where we can.”
After the conference motion was supported a Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) statement was issued.
It said: “With the current cost of living crisis, last year’s pay freeze and without knowing if our members will receive an increase in their pay this year or not, now is not the time to increase Police Federation of England and Wales subscriptions.
“PFEW, however, is also facing increased costs. Soaring inflation, upcoming litigation and the financial health of our National Reserves Fund means we need to at least start to have an open and honest conversation on this subject with Federation representatives to make sure that there is a strong, viable Federation fighting for our members for years to come.”
The Federation said the conference gave the perfect opportunity to open the conversation surrounding subscription rates, which have only increased once in the last decade.
The statement continued: “On such an important issue, PFEW took the view conference delegates should be given the opportunity to hear the rationale for any proposed future increase in subscriptions immediately.
“We care passionately about the views of our members which is why hearing from delegates at conference – their representatives – on this matter was vital. On that basis, it was agreed to bring a motion to conference this year for discussion.”
The conference motion looked at future options for an increase in subscriptions on the basis that it would only be introduced once it has been confirmed by the Government that members will receive a pay increase.
As a result of the motion, the conference supported increasing the rate of all types of Federation subscriptions effective from 1 September 2022, in line with the percentage uplift to police pay for 2022/2023.