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West Midlands Police Federation

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Federation in legal action over pay award

23 October 2018

Formal legal proceedings will now start after the Government failed to act on police pay recommendations, the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) has announced.

The move has been welcomed by Rich Cooke, chair of West Midlands Police Federation, who has previously criticised the Government for ignoring the recommendations of the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) for the second year running.

PRRB recommended a three per cent pay rise for officers as of 1 September this year – just short of the Federation’s bid for a 3.4 per cent increase – but the Government awarded two per cent.

“The Federation had now lodged an application to Judicial Review proceedings into the lawfulness of the Government’s decision. This is not just about the derisory pay rise given to officers but also about the whole independent pay review process,” says Rich.

“The PRRB is supposed to act as an independent organisation that considers the evidence submitted by various interested parties, including the Police Federation and Superintendents’ Association, and then makes a recommendation to ministers in terms of what it considers a fair pay award.

“The Federation enters into this process in good faith, providing evidence to support its arguments but time and time again we are finding ourselves frustrated and increasingly angry that the Government is choosing to ignore PRRB, undermining the whole process.

“We cannot sit back and let this continue. We will stand up for our members and for what we believe is right.”
PFEW has instructed solicitors to formally proceed with a Judicial Review against the Home Secretary on the basis that he has stated that the pay decision was a Government decision and not his alone.

“Now more than ever it is imperative pay is adequate and fair acknowledging the incredibly demanding job officers 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,” says John Apter, national Federation chair.

“Police officers must be treated fairly and have confidence that any independent pay recommendations will be accepted in full by the Home Secretary. I know the deep sense of anger felt by many of our members about the way they have been treated. This is why we have taken this action and make no apology for doing so. Doing nothing was simply not an option and it is right and proper that we legally challenge this unfairness.”

• The Federation believes this year’s pay awards actually amounts to a 0.85 increase. This figure is derived from the fact that of last year’s two per cent only one per cent was consolidated. That one per cent has now been removed by the Government for this year’s pay award, so taking into account pension contributions, the actual uplift is worth around 0.85 per cent to constables.