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Federation makes last ditch pay appeal to Home Office

As the deadline for the government's pay offer looms, the Federation has raised the spectre of strike action.

With the clock running down to towards the summer recess of Parliament, the Home Office has just days if it is keeping to the traditional time line for deciding if it accepts the annual Police Remuneration Review Body recommendation.

A raft of public sector unions have already signalled they will ballot for strike action if the government offers a below inflation settlement.

Officers in Scotland have already withdrawn good will over their pay offer.

The Police Federation warned that after a pay freeze and deals that have reduced wages by 20%, members have had enough.

Its leadership is not in favour of balloting members over demanding industrial rights but there was a warning that some members will push for it if ministers fail to deliver a significant wage increase in line with the cost of living rises.

The initial offer from the Home Office - before huge increases in fuel and food costs - was 2%.

Federation Chair Steve Hartshorn said: “I want to ask the government – did our forebears make a mistake in trusting you by giving up our right to strike in 1919 against the promise of fair pay?”,

“Workers in other public sectors are taking industrial action over pay and conditions this summer whilst PFEW members ‘police’ the strikes. Our members cannot strike and seem to have no redress to this loss as the law currently prohibits such action by police officers.”

The Treasury has already made clear it won’t agree to a double-digit deal – but could make an improved settlement of between 5% and 9%, according to staff reps monitoring the Home Office.

There’s also an added complication that any significant pay offer would trigger a fresh round of pay talks with staff.

Unison agreed a 3% rise over 17 months but the deal contained a clause where the staff side could re-start if a settlement was reached with officers that is higher.

A Unison spokesman told Police Oracle: “Those talks would re-open. That was the deal we reached.”

And they added the government would face a brain drain if ministers opted to drive through a below-inflation deal.

“We need to think about what kind of staff, officers and experts that we are going to need in the future.”

The Home Office was approached for comment by Police Oracle.

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