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PFNI raise anger over further backdated pay delays

Northern Ireland’s ministers have been urged to sort out pay so officers can meet the rise in living costs.

The Police Federation for Northern Ireland said members were angry and exasperated over the failure by the devolved administration to implement pay deals.

Top of the list is resolving wage increases for sergeants but the staff association wants a policy review that will end years of delays.

PFNI Chair Mark Lindsay said the delays are the worst he can remember in his 34 years as a police officer – and just the latest to impact on take-home wages.

The issue has been dragging on for 11 months with blame being pushed between the Police Service of Northern Ireland, the Justice Department and Department of Finance.

The extent of the problems was revealed when Police Oracle attempted to get clarification from each of the organisations involved.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland told Police Oracle it was up to the Justice Department to respond.

The Fed says time is running out as next year’s settlement deadline is also approaching.

Last year an uplift was agreed between the Department of Justice and the Department of Finance. It followed the re-start of the devolved institutions and funding from Whitehall.

The 2.5% rise was backdated to September 2020, when a similar award was made to officers in England and Wales.

But it was the third year in a row that a deal was delayed because the NI government had been shut down due to a political standoff.

Mr Lindsay said: “The Minister for Justice signed off on this eleven months ago, yet those affected still haven’t been paid their entitlement.

“Unsurprisingly, this has caused considerable anger for first-line supervisors. They have qualified for the payment but have not had this relatively simple uplift progressed.”

The second area of concern for the PFNI is the failure to progress incremental pay points across all ranks. It means officers’ progression through contractually agreed pay points has not taken place.

Mr Lindsey said: “We have unprecedented increases in electricity, gas, heating oil and foodstuffs and delaying timely implementation of pay points means officers are having to make ends meet with several hundred pounds less in their salaries.”

The PFNI is calling for the UK system for pay setting to be put in place: “It is immaterial to officers whether blame lies with the PSNI, Department of Justice or the Department of Finance. These matters need to be resolved immediately and a fit-for-purpose process put in place for next year.”

The Justice Department failed to respond to a request for a statement.

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