The Pay & Conditions Review recommendations, if implemented, will immediately reduce the pay of substantial numbers of police officers (those in receipt of CRTPs, SPPs and overtime) and in the first year of implementation reduce the pay of all police officers. Only in the medium term, as new allowances are introduced, will some officers receive pay increases as a result of the recommendations in the Report.
How will you be affected? Click on the link below to get an individual assessment.
- There is no doubt that the Review has caused worry and concern throughout the Federated and Superintendent ranks. Below are some of the concerns and comments communicated to us over the last few weeks.
1. “The spin being used to undermine Police officers is unbelievable and needs to be exposed for what it is. Can the Federation not explain that the reason for excessive overtime is the lack of available staff. In my post going home on time is a bonus that is only guaranteed on rare occasions putting a lot of strain on family life. If the time is kept as time off minimum staffing levels prevent that being taken at peak times although the non optional overtime worked is often during those same peak times.
I recall the press reports that preceeded the Sheehy report but this time I have had to watch an ACPO officer on TV news agreeing with the Home Secretary that we need a shake up. I feel totally let down by this government and yesterday I overheard this coversation in Costa Coffee !
“Have you seen in this mornings papers what they’re doing to the bill, it’s F——-g great not only are they cutting numbers but they are sacking support staff so that those that are left will be stuck in doing even more paperwork. It will be anarchy, I’ve been going straight but I wont need to anymore cos there will be no coppers out there any more.”
The middle aged male talking was a local drug dealer who hadn’t realised that I was there.
Forget my loss of income, what about the losses about to be suffered by the communities who are already barely Policed. Hearing a criminal relishing in the governments undermining of the Police is not an ideal situation ! I have 23yrs service and have never seen the Police treated so badly before, officers are feeling helpless and need the federation to stand up for them”.
2. Many will have little flexibity in their finances as like everyone else money is tight, to make ends meet individuals may take part time work to make up any deficit ,they maybe falling foul of discipline/regs re additional employment by failing to seek authority , who would wish to go cap in hand asking permission to take extra work to then be subjected to an embarassing interview about their personal affairs (that were in good order prior to any expected cuts) to have any application turned down. A far greater concern would be the welfare of any officer taking employment in their spare time parading for duty exhausted, tired individuals make bad decisions and function less efficiently posing a danger to themselves ,colleagues and the public.
Police officers are human they have families to keep and therefore should not be put in a position of financial hardship through a direct pay cut, it would be foolish to think that any officer would continue to give their best if their families were suffering.
3. I have been a serving police officer for some 16 years and a manager within that service for over ten of those years. In that time I have dealt with a multitude of community and individual crises that have involved death and serious injury, significant disorder to the community or financial loss to individuals and the wider society. I take great pride in my ability to deal with these crises calmly, according to the best traditions of policing and in protecting the communities within which I work. I am immensely proud to be a police officer in what remains at present one of the finest police services in the world.
Yesterday a report was published by Tom Winsor which on its face provides an overview of the earliest parts of significant reviews into policing. Further reviews are planned over the coming weeks and it is these reviews and the effect that these reviews are having on my officers that I would like to make comment.
For some time the Country has been in the depths of significant financial woe and it is only correct that the public sector plays a contributory part in the reduction of this enormous deficit.
Police officers are not immune to the other changes within society that have begun to reduce public expenditure. We are part through a 2 year pay freeze. Officers and staff are being made redundant through the processes that exist within the service and the tax changes and inflationary pressures have placed the same burden on police families as they have all others.
Yesterday saw a further increase to this burden and the likelihood is that within a few days or weeks we will be asked to make further contributions to our pensions, which incidentally we already pay 11% of our salary into.
The cumulative impact of all of this on police officers is enormous. We will be asked to take a pay cut in real terms of between 15 and 20% at a time when inflation and soon interest rates are highly likely to rise.
As an example of the impact Winsor is already having; An officer approached me yesterday almost in tears as a result of the review as the basic maths she has done suggests she will no longer be in a position to pay her mortgage within 6 months taking into account the other enforced savings Vat rising etc.
The very core of the policing tradition of which I am so very proud is being attacked. Not by any single approaching threat that can be defended but by a multitude of smaller less visible but no less damaging threats that creep across us. Policing in the Country faces death by a thousand cuts. Police pay is not gold plated. In Surrey the average cost of a house represents 12-15 times the salary of a police officer and our pension whilst excellent in standard is extremely expensive to the officers who pay a large proportion of their salary into the fund annually.
The Country will see fewer police officers and staff over the coming years and a significant reduction in police stations and indeed experience as a result of the cuts already announced.
To further reduce police pay will destroy the remaining morale of the service, reducing the capability of police officers to fund even a basic existence and set the police service back 30 years.
When all the reviews are finally announced and further cuts and reductions in salary inevitably hit policing, we will begin to see the real effect of these cuts on officers: reduced capability and resilience in policing, officers houses going onto the market as interest rates rise, increases in stress and anxiety as monetary worries take their toll on families and many more officers approaching me and my colleagues expressing deep concern at their ability to maintain their positions in a service which defends the very fabric of a society that allows these cuts to be effected so efficiently.
The police service will continue to serve the public as well as it can and officers will continue to place themselves in between the public and the threats that they face on a daily basis because that is our job. That is what we do and we will not stop doing it. But we should think about the mindset that we place those officers in when they stand and confront those threats. Perhaps it is time for the public and the government to stand with us in protecting their thin blue line. We joined to help others. We now need their help.”
4. “and we see as a level of protection for Police Officer s who have no right or ability to take Industrial action, should our Pay and Conditions or Pensions be attacked in our view unfairly, is very disturbing.”
5. I find the APA’s recommendations bizarre, they appear to want ‘carte blanche’ with regard to our ‘flexibility’ whilst offering no financial reward or compensation. We know that our duty planning is poor and resources have never been so limited, so how do they propose this will work? The CID are stripped bare and recent events in Cheltenham have shown that this is not sustainable. I can only see this heading towards a work to rule and no flexibility with staff.
Mr Champness has left me feeling demoralised and devalued.
6. I have just read the recent newsletter and the GPA’s response to the APA submission. To say that this makes me angry would be an understatement.
I was sent a copy of the APA submission some weeks ago and read it with incredulity. I have never read a more prejudiced, unbalanced and ignorant piece in my entire Police career. The whole document stinks of complete ignorance as to the reality of life in the Police. The very fact that they use the term ‘Police Unions’ at one point just shows how out of touch the authors of this document are.
My current opinion of Police Authorities in general is that the sooner they are dismantled and replaced by an elected body the better. It upsets me to have to think like this; I know that an elected authority will bring its own problems. However, to be betrayed in this way by our own Police Authority is unforgiveable.
7. I am extremely concerned by the Review – too many concerns to list!
8. Having taken the time to read the APA submission in full a couple of weeks ago I was absolutely gobsmacked at the suggestions put forward to completely erode any benefits that are available to police officers. It seems that there is no area of our pay and conditions that are sacred and the APA want the police to perform our unique duties for minimal pay with little or no prospect of keeping up with the soaring cost of living.