25 November 2020
The Chancellor should be praising public sector workers not penalising them with a pay freeze, says Derbyshire Police Federation chair Tony Wetton.
Tony was reacting to the Spending Review announcement of Chancellor Rishi Sunak today in which he confirmed that most public sector workers – including police officers – would be subjected to a pay freeze next year.
“I can only really reiterate what I said last week when news broke that a public sector pay freeze was on the cards,” said Tony, “We all appreciate there are thousands of people who have either lost their jobs this year or have had their household incomes significantly reduced due to the impact of the pandemic and we do have sympathy with them.
“But police officers and other frontline workers have continued to work day in, day out to serve and protect their communities while facing the risk of not only contracting Covid-19 but possibly picking it up and passing it on to their own loved ones.
“I do not think it is right to penalise public sector workers with a pay freeze.
“In spite of the financial crisis the nation is facing, I think most people will remember the gratitude they have felt for front-line key workers throughout the pandemic and would not want those bearing the brunt of keeping the nation safe to be the ones to shoulder the burden of paying the bill for it.”
The Federation’s national chair, John Apter, has called the pay freeze a ‘kick in the teeth for police officers’.
“This year my colleagues have been on the frontline in the battle against Covid-19, protecting the public and putting their own safety and the safety of their families at risk. Despite the warm words and the weekly applause for key workers, it seems to count for nothing.
“We are realists; we know that the country is facing a difficult economic future. But rewarding those who have played a vital role in the fight against the virus with a pay freeze is nothing short of a disgrace.
“A handful of officers will get the additional £250 for the lowest paid workers, but only those who are already on an appallingly low starting salary for the dangerous job they do.
“I appreciate the devil will be in the detail, but the headlines from today’s announcement does nothing to show appreciation to police officers and other public sector workers who have kept the wheels turning during 2020.”