You will be aware that over the last four months negotiations have been taking place at the Police Negotiating Board (PNB) regarding the Winsor Part One recommendations. Disappointingly, despite the very best efforts of Staff Side to find an acceptable agreement, there was a failure to agree at today’s (26th July) PNB meeting. What has become clear is that this is not about providing fiscal solutions as the Official Side rejected alternative proposals put forward by the Staff Side that would have minimised the impact of Winsor Part One on police officers. This would appear to be about ideology and on that basis it seems the Official Side never engaged in true negotiation.
Despite attempts to achieve resolution through agreement at conciliation today, the matter has now been referred to the Police Arbitration Tribunal by the independent Chair of PNB. The PAT will be asked to consider nearly 20 separate recommendations and will, therefore, be looking at a significantly wider range of issues than is typically the case in a reference to arbitration. At this stage the exact timetable for the PAT process has not been finalised but it is unlikely to be a quick process. We will keep you updated as soon as we know when the hearing will be scheduled.
Please see below the press release issued to the media and also attached is the statement read out at the full PNB meeting by Ian Rennie, Staff Side General Secretary of the Staff Side of PNB. They will be also placed on the PFEW website.
Gloucestershire Police Federation.
26 July 2011
Anger and disappointment as Police Negotiating Board registers failure to agree on police pay proposals
The Staff Side of the Police Negotiating Board (PNB) is bitterly disappointed that today’s PNB meeting has ended with a ‘failure to agree’ after it put forward an alternative proposal of reforms that would have delivered equivalent, or more, financial savings to those proposed in the Winsor Report. The actions of the Official Side has forced Staff Side to conclude that whatever savings Staff Side offers, a deal is not achievable as this appears to be about ideologically driven change and not just saving money.
The Staff Side, representing all UK police officers from constable to chief constable, is absolutely frustrated that there was failure to agree despite four months of intense negotiations on the Winsor Part One recommendations, and a willingness by Staff Side to offer alternative proposals and reforms that deliver savings that could exceed the £387 million desired.
Paul McKeever Chairman of PNB Staff Side and the Police Federation of England and Wales says;
“It is extremely frustrating and disappointing that we have been unable to reach agreement today. Staff Side fully engaged in the negotiations from the outset despite the extremely challenging timescales. We worked hard to find alternative reforms that make similar financial savings within the police service but unfortunately these alternatives were rejected by the Official Side. Today, they have made clear that despite government rhetoric, this is about dogma and not a solution to the fiscal situation the country faces.
“Staff Side made clear from the beginning that we would be unable to agree Winsor’s recommendations as an entire package because of the considerable financial hardship its proposals would cause for police officers. We remain concerned that some of Winsor’s recommendations would seriously inhibit, and in many cases, damage officers’ work/life balance. Also, as identified by Winsor, they impact unfairly on female and black and minority ethnic officers.
“We have repeatedly stated during negotiations, we remain unconvinced by the evidence, analysis or arguments set out in support of many of the Winsor recommendations so we couldn’t possibly sign up to them all.
“We offered proposals which deliver savings that match Winsor’s proposals. These include the suspension of superintendents’ and chief officers’ bonus payments for the coming two years, the suspension of the Special Priority Payment (SPP) budget for three years and a reduction in the rate of casual overtime.
“We now ask that the Home Secretary, Theresa May, keeps the promise she made last year to the police officers of England and Wales to fight our corner and that the government honour the negotiation process and the decision of the independent Police Arbitration Tribunal. Staff Side firmly believe that we made every effort to reach an agreement with the Official Side and we remain committed to fighting for the fairest deal for police officers throughout the UK.
– Ends –
Notes to Editors
The PNB was formed by statute in 1980 for the purpose of negotiating police pay and conditions. It is an independently chaired board with its own secretariat. There are two sides to negotiations. The Official Side, representing the employers, made up of representatives from government, police authorities and chief officers. The Staff Side, representing all police officers up to and including chief officers from England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
For further information please contact the Police Federation of England and Wales press office on 01372 352018 or, out of office hours, on 07699 780798.