Members urged to claim basic entitlements

01 September 2018

PFEW Chair John Apter

As the new pay scales come into effect we remind officers of the importance of claiming what they are entitled to.

The Government announced a 2% pay ‘award’ back in July - ignoring the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) recommendations for the second year running.

From 1 September 2018 officers in England and Wales will see an insulting £2.50 increase in their pay a week*.

In terms of the amount that officers receive in their pockets the 2% will be a mere 0.85% – leaving officers financially worse off when inflation is accounted for**.

We recommended a 3.4% increase so that officers could be paid fairly for the dangerous job they do after years of austerity. The independent PRRB body recommended a total of 3%.

Chair John Apter, said: “It’s no wonder officers are feeling undervalued and unappreciated when the Government ignores the recommendation of its own independent pay review body.

“We have played ball submitting extensive evidence to the pay review body with it being disregarded with no justification yet from the Government.

 “Police pay has declined relative to inflation by 18% since 2009/10 which makes no sense when you take into account the increasing demand on the service. Officer numbers have also plummeted to an all-time low since 1996.

“What other shocking statistics need to be released before the Government realises the implications of their actions?”

The latest findings from our Leavers’ Survey show that nearly 2,000 officers voluntarily quit the service over the past 12 months – an increase of 31% over the past four years. A staggering 69.4% felt the police service had failed in its obligation to provide pay increases to maintain their standard of living and 64.4% said they would never consider re-joining the police service after they had left.

John continued: “Sadly, this comes as no surprise to me – where is the incentive to do such an incredibly dangerous job? Because officers certainly don’t do it for the money.

“Now more than ever it is imperative pay is adequate and fair acknowledging the incredibly demanding job they do. It is unacceptable to see officers struggling to make ends meet whilst working all the hours under the sun to keep the public safe because there simply aren’t enough officers to meet the increasing demand.

 “Results from our 2018 Pay and Morale survey show that a staggering 44.8% of officers worry about the state of their personal finances either every day or almost every day and more than one in nine said they never or almost never have enough money to cover all of their essentials. This is up from 11% from 2017.

“Police regulations and terms and conditions are all too often cherry picked. Over the coming months I will be campaigning for officers’ rights and educating members on the importance of claiming what they are entitled to from leave to rest days, overtime allowance and taking adequate rest breaks.

 “Our officers go above and beyond the call of duty to protect the public and it’s imperative they claim their basic entitlements, especially when their hard work and indisputable dedication is not being recognised in their pay packets.

 “We will continue to fight for members’ best interests using the processes we have in place, but we will also regularly review the merits of direct involvement in those forums if those routes are not achieving what we want.

“Police officers’ good will has been taken for granted for too long and there are consequences to this and the Government need to wake up and realise it is not acceptable”, John concluded.

*This figure is based on the starting salary of a police constable which amounts to an increase of approximately £10 a month.

** The 0.85% figure is derived from the fact that of last year’s 2%, only 1% was consolidated. That 1% has now been removed by the Government for this year’s pay award, so taking into account pension contributions, then the actual uplift is worth approximately 0.85% to Constables.