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Senior officers slate "unfair" and “incredibly divisive” pay deal

The brain drain in policing will accelerate due to pay, senior officers have told the government.

Retaining experienced officers won’t be helped by yesterday’s pay deal, two staff organisations have warned.

The announcement of a flat cash offer to officers of £1,900 has been panned by the Police Superintendents’ Association and the Chief Police Officers Staff Association.

A forensic – and angrily worded - joint statement from the two organisations made clear ministers would be under further scrutiny over why they had decided to offer a targeted pay award that was unlikely to satisfy anyone other than new recruits.

The response from Chief Constable John Robins, Chair of the Chief Police Officers Staff Association, and Chief Supt Dan Murphy, National Secretary of Police Superintendents’ Association said it creates both inequality and unfairness across a service based on a rank structure.

They claimed the below-inflation announcement confirms a continuation of a real-term pay cut.

“Senior officers have not had a pay rise since 2020 and have experienced a reduction in their income as a result of changes to national insurance contributions,” they said. 

“Although this will be reassuring news for frontline officers and recognises the financial challenges those younger in service have been facing for some time, in real terms, the pay rise will vary by as much as 7% between officers, with the increase reducing at every rank.”

The statement added that the deal would add to the recruitment and retention issues that already exist.

“Anyone with a supervisory responsibility will receive a smaller pay increase than those they are tasked with managing, and those with responsibility for the highest levels of threat, harm and risk, will receive minimal increases that do not reflect the nature of their work or help them to manage the cost of living issues felt by all ranks,” they said.

Both organisations – along with all the other staff organisations – are due in the High Court in the autumn to get a ruling on whether the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) is legitimate given the Home Office has ignored its advice on several settlements in the recent past..

The pay announcement had confirmed the staff view that the PRRB is largely irrelevant.

The statement added: “We will now be seeking answers as to why the PRRB has recommended this targeted pay decision, which contradicts the evidence it received, with CPOSA, NPCC and the Home Office recommending an across the board pay increase.”

The initial feedback from frontline officers was equally scathing.

Luke Mitchell, Hertfordshire’s Federation Chair said: “Having digested the pay offer yesterday and spoke to our members it’s evident it’s very much a raw deal for those more experienced, and ranked officers.

“The pay offer is divisive and doesn’t reflect the awful pay awards delivered to those more experienced officers who have had 10/12 years of 20% reduction in wages and now face a cost of living crisis.”

A senior officer warned th decision would not help rock-bottom morale.

Assistant Chief Constable Genna Telfer of Hertfordshire, said: "Many officers will rightly feel devalued by the government this morning after another poor pay settlement."

Some officers are calling for industrial action that follows the example of the Scottish Police Federation which has withdrawn goodwill after a pay offer of just £565.

Their leadership said the deal for England and Wales would influence their pay talks.

Calum Steele, General Secretary for the Scottish Police Federation, said members would continue to refuse to start shifts early or take radio equipment home when their shift ends.

Mr Steele warned: “Those actions continue to this day and it is highly likely that calls to escalate that action could follow after today’s announcement.”

“The staff side of the PNB is due to meet tomorrow to consider a formal revised and improved offer from the official side, after which the offer will be communicated to the wider membership,” he said.

Bu he added: “However, that revised and improved offer is lower than that awarded to police officers in England and Wales today, and is unlikely to be recommended to our members.”

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