The review was published on the 15th March 2012 and contains 121 recommendations. The report is a disgraceful attack on our pay and conditions and will, if implemented, change the face of policing in this country forever.
It must be stressed that these are recommendations at the moment and we will have to wait and see what the Home Secretary will make of them and how many and which will be implemented. If previous experiences are anything to go by the Home Secretary will no doubt accept the report in full. The process will then be the same as happened with Winsor One in that it will go to the PNB and if agreement can’t be made then no doubt on to Arbitration.
Some of the recommendations only apply to police staff and senior officers; however the vast majority of recommendations will affect the federated ranks.
We have looked at the key recommendations and made comment below. Remember that these are our early thoughts and we have tried to get this information out as quickly as possible so our views may change as further information comes to light.
When considering the recommendations remember that these proposals are at a time when we are in a two year pay freeze followed by the potential for another two years capped at 1%. This is affecting your take home pay as inflation reduces its worth in real terms making the figures that we have quoted even worse.
The key recommendations (if implemented) from Winsor Part 2 that could affect you:
Recommendation 2 is an early clue as to the thrust of the report. It talks about a greater degree of harmonisation between police officer and police staff pay. What this means is that police officer pay and conditions will be dragged down rather than police staff’s being improved.
Recommendation 3 talks about setting an entry qualification as a requirement for appointment to a police force and Recommendation 7 about promoting the police service through schools and universities. The thrust is that everyone will have to have at least 3 “A” levels or a recognised policing qualification to be considered for appointment which will effectively cut out great swathes of the community who for varying reasons won’t have the desired qualifications. This will potentially be the end of a police force reflecting the community that it serves which goes to the heart of policing in this country.
The only other method of entry would be by way of serving as a PCSO or Special Constable which they consider gives a candidate the desired experience.
Recommendations 8 and 19 suggest that direct entry schemes should be set up for the appointment of Inspectors and Superintendants. These recommendations simply devalue the worth of policing experience and will no doubt lead to policing being even more delivered as a business rather than a public service.
Recommendations 23 to 26 will allow for a Chief Constable to be appointed from a police force outside of the United Kingdom – Another direct entry route!
Recommendation 30 allows for rank skipping so that an officer won’t have to serve in every rank as they progress through their career.
Recommendations 33 to 37 deal with the introduction of compulsory annual fitness tests for all officers. From 2018 these will be based on the Northern Ireland test which is apparently more physically demanding. Those officers who fail three tests will be subject to disciplinary procedures.
Recommendation 39 deals with those officers who are on restricted duties. If an officer is on restricted duties for one year their pay will be reduced by £2,922 per annum. If they then continue on restricted duties for another year proceedings should be commenced to either dismiss or ill-health retire them. No account is taken of whether their restriction was as a result of an injury on duty or indeed equality legislation relating to those officers with disabilities. This recommendation takes no account of the dangerous job that we do and the potential for any of us to be seriously injured doing that dangerous job. Why would anyone want to put themselves in danger now that you know that within two years it could mean losing your livelihood?
Recommendation 43 agrees with Lord Hutton’s recommendation that the normal pension age for police officers should be set at 60.
Recommendations 46 and 47 will allow for a compulsory severance (redundancy) scheme for police officers.
Recommendations 53 to 74 deal with pay scales. The maximum basic pay for constables will remain at £36,519. The number of pay scales will be reduced from 10 to 7. Pay scales 6, 7 and 9 will be removed. On the face of it this may seem a good thing but the devil is in the detail.
Progression through each increment will be subject to completing a satisfactory PDR, not as of right as it is currently. This applies to all federated ranks. At pay point 4 Constables will also be required to pass a “Foundation Skills Threshold” test before progression. This test will also be subject to retests every 5 years. Any officer who fails this test will be subject to UPP (Unsatisfactory Performance Procedures).
Constable’s can only progress beyond pay point 6 (£31,032) if they have acquired specified specialist skills and have passed a “Specialist Skills Threshold” test within 12 months of appointment to a relevant role. They will also be required to sit further tests every three yearswhere failure will result in an immediate drop of one pay scale (a loss of £5,487). It is important to note that if a role does not require warranted powers then an officer in that role will remain at pay point 6. Winsor is basically saying that any role that does not require warranted powers is effectively a police staff role and so can never attract the “Specialist Skills Threshold”.
Officers who are currently at the top of their pay scale in such a role will have three years grace after which they will move down to pay point 6, effectively reducing their pay by £5,487. By way of example officers currently in a training role or in the control room would be subject to this reduction as their role does not routinely require warranted powers. You could then have a situation where this officer is or becomes restricted and after a further 12 months would be further reduced by £2,922, giving a total reduction of £8,409.
So think carefully – Are you currently in a role that doesn’t require warranted powers? If you are and remain there you will drop a pay scale if these recommendations come in. Winsor has suggested that there is a three year “grace” period during which officers in non specialist roles can change roles so that they wouldn’t drop down. However we are all deployed at the discretion of the Chief Constable and may not have the option to change roles. It also means should you be lucky enough to get a move, that whoever takes your place would drop to pay point 6 within 12 months anyway, presuming that they were at the top of their pay scale.
For ranks above Constable the accreditation of specialist skills should place special emphasis on skills which are needed in the management of people, resources, finance and financial planning. There should also be emphasis on leadership.
Recommendation 83 says that CRTP (Competence Related Threshold Payment) should be abolished by April 2013.
The story so far; You drop a pay scale (-£5,487), you then become restricted (-£2,922) and that’s after they have taken away your CRTP (-£1,212). A loss so far of £9,621.
Recommendation 94 introduces an interim Expertise and Professional Accreditation Allowance (EPAA). Police Officers in qualifying roles will be able to access a payment of £600 per annum paid monthly. The qualifying roles are neighbourhood policing, public order, investigation and firearms. Remember this is an interim allowance and will go in 2016. The only role that will then attract an allowance after 2016 will be public order but even this is subject to being deployed on at least six occasions in any one year.
All of those officers who are currently public order trained and subject to an SPP (£1,100) will initially get the EPAA (a drop to £600) because it is not initially dependant on being deployed. However after 2016 when it becomes dependant on being deployed how many of you think that you will be deployed six times?
By way of another example firearms officer’s currently in receipt of an SPP (£1,250 – £1,750) would initially get the EPAA (a drop to £600) but after 2016 would get nothing. They will simply be paid at pay point 7 which Winsor considers to be a bonus in itself!
To conclude the story a firearms officer could be injured on duty and placed on restricted duties. They would then face a drop in salary to pay point 6 (£5,487) and a further drop because they are long term restricted (£2,922). All this after already losing CRTP (£1,212) and SPP (£1,250 – £1,750). A potential total so far of £11,371. Some may say that this is a worse case scenario but just bear in mind that all of this may be out of your hands. Oh and after 2 years they will either be dismissed or ill-health retired.
Notwithstanding the injury issue everyone, including all firearms officers, will lose their CRTP (April 2013), SPP (end of March 2012) and EPAA payments by 2016 at the latest.
Recommendation 82 says that the force should identify the least effective 10% of performers by way of the PDR system and consider putting them all on UPP. There may not be any particular issues that would normally suggest UPP but because you fall into the bottom 10% you could find yourself subject to them.
Recommendation 105 says that consideration should be given to buying out sergeant’s overtime.
Recommendation 112 says that an on-call allowance of £15 should be paid after an officer has completed 12 sessions of on-call for no payment. Although the arbitration panel advised that £15 was not enough Winsor has chosen to ignore them and repeat his original recommendation. Remember that you cannot be ordered to perform on-call duties.
I will finish for now with a question. Who at a time when finances are tight is going to pay for all of this bureaucracy? I think we know the answer to that one don’t we?