9 August 2022
I am writing this message as the dust settles after the Government announced its latest police pay deal and I think it’s fair to say the reaction has been very mixed.
I think our initial response was one of relief that ministers were finally starting to acknowledge our frustration over pay by coming up with a settlement that didn’t leave us feeling completely rejected and betrayed and the poor relations of the public sector.
But now we have had a chance to examine the offer in greater detail it is clear that longer-serving and experienced officers, and senior officers, are once again going to be left out of pocket as the cost of living crisis intensifies and inflation continues to soar.
The award of a flat increase of £1,900 across all ranks - which averages out to a five per cent pay rise which would have sounded decent in less financially challenging times - once again falls short and fails to address the real terms pay cut that our members have been facing for more than a decade.
Many officers will receive far below that five per cent figure and the vast majority are going to find themselves significantly worse off financially than they were even after last year’s disgraceful zero per cent increase.
And, in all honesty, even new in service officers at the lower end of the pay scale, for whom the £1,900 represents a larger percentage increase, are still going to find it is not enough to cover the increases in household bills, fuel and groceries.
At any other time, we would be lauding this pay settlement as a success but set against a backdrop of a 20 per cent lack of a real terms pay rise over the last 12 years it simply isn’t enough.
Our members deserve to be treated better and to receive a proportionate pay increase and so our fight for fair pay continues.
We want a complete redress of the real terms pay cuts suffered by police officers since 2010, proper alignment of pay with cost of living increases and the introduction of a fair pay system that recognises the special part our members play in society.
That unique role was given the perfect showcase last month at the 2022 Police Bravery Awards in London.
The awards are always an incredible experience and no one who attended could fail to be moved by the extraordinary stories of courage and determination. They act as a genuine reminder of why we do what we do and why we are rightly proud to say we are police officers.
Derbyshire nominated three members this year - Steve Reid, Steve Fowkes and Weronika (Ronnie) Korbiel. Every one of them showed real bravery in an incredibly dangerous situation and were fully deserving of special recognition.
It was an honour and a privilege to spend time with them and their partners in London. We are all very proud of them and they should be proud of themselves.
That courage, and the courage of every police officer across the country, is what makes us unique and is why the Police Federation will never stop fighting to protect the welfare of its members and to make sure they get fair and honest rewards for the sacrifices they make.
We are here for you wherever and whenever you need us so please do not hesitate to get in touch with any issues.
As always, I’ll sign off by urging you all to take care, stay safe and keep looking out for one another.