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Staff associations: 'Evidence shows we need a pay increase'

Fed and Supers' Association call for rise in remuneration, but noises from government make it seem an unlikely prospect

Officer pay should be increased by one per cent, staff associations have argued.

The Police Federation of England and Wales and the Police Superintendents' Association of England and Wales are jointly calling for the rise in the next financial year 2015/16.

In their 233 page submission to the Police Remuneration Review Body they have set out a case for the rise - the maximum limit set by government.

They say they have taken an evidence-based approach to the case.

The associations have asked for the uplift for all officers - including those who receive an increment. It would also apply to regional allowances and those usually included in such rises like the dog handlers' allowance.

Police Federation General Secretary Andy Fittes said: "Our submission takes a long-term approach. This is not just about the here and now, but about ensuring we are recognised as a credible organisation supplying strong evidence-based submissions.

"To that end, this submission is about planning for future pay uplifts as well as just for 2015/16.

"Not only does this take account of our recognition of the public sector austerity measures set by government, but it addresses our primary concern which is that there should be no further divisive pay changes.

"Officers have had to endure much turbulence to their pay and allowances in recent years as a result of the Winsor review and we are asking that there be no further piecemeal change to pay and conditions without proper long-term evidence of its impact."

The associations are asking for the same level of pay rise which is currently the subject of dispute with unions representing police staff members. Unison has called a strike on January 23 over the matter.

Mr Fittes recently warned that the government risked being unable to attract and retain good personnel if they weren't paid a decent wage.

Shrinking base

But academic Dr Tim Brain warned that overall budget cuts mean pay increases - however deserved they may be - could lead to further losses in force strength and size.

"Pay for officers and staff comes out of the police grant settlement and unless that goes up, which it has not, the arithmetic means that pay rises are not simple and have to be funded from a diminishing base," he said.

"That increases the pressure on budgets that are already being cut."

In his Autumn Statement Chancellor George Osborne appeared to set out the government's position that there will be no public sector pay increases in the near future.

He said: "By continuing to restrain public sector pay we expect to deliver commensurate savings in the next Parliament until we have dealt with the deficit.

"We’ve shown in this Parliament that we can deliver spending reductions without damaging frontline public services if you’re prepared to undertake reform.

"Crime is down. Satisfaction with local government services is up."

As previously reported, Chair of the Police and National Crime Agency Remuneration Review Body David Lebrecht said that decision-making process over officer pay would be weighted against the strength of evidence put forward. 

The panel of eight members will also have oral sessions with representatives and take part in force visits before compiling their first report to the Home Secretary in June.

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