On Tuesday 8 March 2011, Tom Winsor delivered the first part of his review to reduce police officers’ pay and conditions of service.
The report was commissioned by the Home Secretary and we await her decision as to which of the recommendations she accepts and then directs the Official Side to table as claims at the Police Negotiating Board. These negotiations are likely to take several months before they are concluded.
Unsurprisingly the recommendations within Tom Winsor’s report propose the removal of nearly £500 million a year from the police pay bill. Despite the Home Office spin that there will be “winners and losers” let me assure you that by removing this amount of money from the police pay bill there will be no winners.
Basic salaries will be frozen for two years from September 2011. With inflation running at 5% over two years this would see the value your average salary fall by over 10% in real terms.
Winsor’s recommendations will also reduce your pensionable pay on top of that 10% cut:
- If you have not reached the top of your pay scale, you will be at the same pay point for the next two years. That means an average loss over two years of £2,345.
- If you are at the top of your scale and you are in receipt of a competence-related threshold payment (CRTP), you will lose £1,212 a year.
- If you have not reached the top of your pay scale, the abolition of CRTPs means that you have lost the potential to earn that £1,212.
- CRTP makes up your pensionable pay. Its removal means that your annual pension when you retire will be over £800 a year lower if this recommendation is accepted.
On top of these proposals, if you are an officer who falls into one of the following groups, you may see you pay cut by even more:
- If you work ordinary overtime on a regular basis the change to plain time means that you will lose an average of £430 a year.
- If your force requires you to work overtime on rest days with less than 5 days’ notice you could lose an average of £300 a year.
- If you receive a Special Priority Payment, you will lose between £500 and £3,000, although some officers could lose more than this.
These figures are based on averages and some officers will receive more than the sums mentioned here, while some will get less or none at all.
There may be officers who appear to benefit from some of the changes that Winsor has proposed, but it will depend on how the recommendations are implemented.
The introduction of an additional shift premium at first sounds attractive, particularly as he proposes that officers should receive an additional 10% of their basic pay. Unfortunately this is not the shift allowance that he states so many officers have told him that they want. It is in fact paid on an hourly basis only for the hours that you work outside of 8am and 6pm. As a police officer you can be directed to work at any time but if this proposal is introduced it would result in you suffering a financial detriment if your duties are changed by management to work between these hours.
The introduction of an interim Expertise and Professional Accreditation Allowance, which replaces the current SPP scheme in all but name will reduce the amount forces currently pay to officers.
The proposed removal of the ‘Hertfordshire Agreement’ that currently remunerates officers who are on ‘Mutual Aid’ or ‘Held in Reserve’ and to replace it with pay only for the hours that are worked, will significantly reduce the amount of compensation that officers receive for being directed to work anywhere in the UK and the subsequent disruption to your family life.
The proposed change to allow payment at double time if required to work on Christmas Day and seven days chosen by the officer is in effect a reduction by stealth in your pay for working public holidays. Given that all officers will not be able to nominate the actual public holidays as part of their seven days, you will end up working on those days without any compensation for the disruption of having to work on what is your current entitlement to paid family leave. There is no doubt that the seven days that you nominate will be subject to approval as currently applies to annual leave and other time off. They will be subject to minimum staffing levels being available so that there will be no requirement for you to work and be paid double time. This will result in a loss of the remuneration that you currently receive for working public holidays.
Clearly the proposals within the Winsor Report have the potential to significantly reduce the remuneration that you currently receive for performing your duties.
That is why the PFEW will fully engage in the negotiating process at the Police Negotiating Board and will fight to retain the current value of police officers’ terms and conditions of service. I can assure you that we will use every means at our disposal to resist any detrimental changes to officers’ pay and conditions of service.
These are difficult and challenging times for the police service.
Never has there been such an attack on our pay and conditions.
Never has it been more important for us to stand together and support each other.
This is one of the most important ‘officer requiring assistance’ calls that you will ever have to respond to as a police officer.
We will keep you fully informed of any developments, including how you can support our campaign to defend your terms and conditions.
Police Federation of E&W
Surrey KT22 7UY