On Wednesday 17 June 2020 the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) held its first ever Virtual Conference.
Delegates met to consider the first review of the monthly voluntary subscription fee since 2011 and voted in support of a National Board recommendation to increase subs by £2 per month from Tuesday 1 September 2020.
The event was the first online conference in the Police Federation’s proud 100-year history and almost 500 delegates from PFEW’s network of 43 Joint Branch Boards attended the event.
National Chair John Apter welcomed delegates to the Microsoft Teams Event before delegates were given the opportunity to vote on three recommendations, including the proposal from the National Board to increase subscriptions.
Following a presentation by National Treasurer Simon Kempton, both he and Mr Apter answered delegates’ questions before a series of votes.
In a joint statement, National Chair John Apter and National Secretary Alex Duncan said: “During our first ever virtual conference, PFEW delegates took the decision to ratify the recommendation to increase subscriptions by £2 per month from 1 September. This was the first increase since 2011.
“Having avoided any increase in subscriptions for a decade when colleagues suffered years of austerity and pay freezes, this increase was essential to allow current levels of support and assistance for members to be maintained.
“For a number of years PFEW has bridged the gap between income and expenditure by using reserves. This is not sustainable in the longer term as costs continue to rise due to inflation.
“Increasing subscription rates for our members was not a decision we have come to lightly. In an ideal world we would have been able to continue as we had, but after almost ten years of subscriptions being frozen, we reached the point that doing nothing was not an option.
“This decision allows the Federation to continue to do the very best it can for our members and to represent them to the best of our ability.”
The other recommendations were for student officers to pay a 50 per cent discounted rate for the first year of service and then to pay the normal subscription rate, and for officers who join via the Direct Entry Inspectors’ Scheme to pay the full subscription rate. All recommendations were carried.
Since 2011, PFEW has absorbed additional costs created by austerity, a large reduction in income caused by reduced officer numbers, and the introduction of additional welfare services. This was done by relying on reserves to the point where the increases are being recommended to ensure PFEW’s continuing financial stability.