29 July 2021
The chair of Derbyshire Police Federation has written to the county’s MPs expressing members’ “anger and frustration” at the Government’s offer of a zero per cent pay rise.
Tony Wetton says officers have endured 18 months of enormous pressure and stress while policing the pandemic only to face the “kick in the teeth” of another real terms cut to their pay.
Tony said: “I want to make our representatives in Parliament fully aware of our members’ anger and frustration at the way they’re being treated.
“The pay deal, after the year and half we’ve been through, was a tipping point for many, but it’s about so much more than that.
“During the pandemic, police officers throughout the country have risked their own health and safety to protect communities, some without proper PPE protection at times, without vaccine priority, enforcing confusing and constantly changing legislation, having Covid-19 weaponised against them, all while having to carry out their day jobs.
“They’ve gone through all that, only to be given a kick in the teeth by the Government over the pay review. Enough is enough,” he added.
Tony’s letter follows last week’s meeting of the Federation National Council which voted through a motion of no confidence in the Home Secretary and agreed to walk away from the Police Remuneration Review Body, which it branded “not fit for purpose” after a bitterly-opposed pay freeze for officers earning more than £24,000-a-year was confirmed.
He wrote: “This is about much more than just one year’s pay rise. Police officers accept restrictions on their professional and personal lives and do not enjoy the employment protections afforded to most workers. They rely on a fair system of calculating their remuneration but have seen the Government exert undue influence, even control, over the process.
“This independent review body made it clear in its report that it is frustrated at once again being prevented from doing its job due to Government interference. The deal between society and a police officer with those restrictions and a lack of ability to take industrial action should include fair treatment when it comes to pay and conditions. Those officers feel that their weak negotiating position is being abused rather than respected.
“The decision to withdraw from this process was obviously not taken lightly. The Police Federation has always looked to be entirely co-operative in its dealings with the Government, albeit that it has not always felt that it has been reciprocated.
“As I know you fully appreciate, police officers have been on the frontline throughout the pandemic, serving the public with bravery and dedication. Despite this, having endured a year and a half of enormous pressure and stress, managing constantly changing Regulations and guidance, PPE shortages and no prioritisation for vaccinations, they now face yet another real terms pay cut. The Government has rightly recognised the service of other frontline workers during the pandemic yet continues to force police officers to enter into an unfair pay process.
“As a result, the National Council of the Police Federation made the decision that warm words were no longer enough and overwhelmingly supported a vote of no confidence in the Home Secretary due to the lack of any visible meaningful support from her on these matters.
“The Police Federation would like to see a reset of the relationship between Government and the police, and have made the following three requests in an open letter to the Prime Minister and the Chancellor: