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6 January 2022
Police officers are thousands of pounds worse off than they were ten years ago as a result of wages failing to keep pace with prices, according to a Trades Union Congress report.
The analysis found that the pay of police officers, along with that of nurses and care home staff, has failed to keep pace with prices over the past decade. Police constables and sergeants have had the biggest reduction, with inflation-adjusted pay £5,595 a year lower than it was ten years ago.
Lee Broadbent, Chair of Greater Manchester Police Federation, said: “We’ve seen rising demand, rising assaults on police officers, rising mental health crisis and a rising cost of living. The only thing that isn’t rising is our pay.
“In my view, the police budget for next year stealthily factors in a pay award and essentially limits it to 2%. Anything more would have to be funded by the force and given we are already seeing most forces ask for the maximum council tax precept increase, it would be a hard sell to use that to cover an additional pay rise.
“This again pre-empts and limits any Police Remuneration Review Body findings and shows that we can’t have confidence in an ‘independent’ pay review system which has its terms of reference dictated by the Treasury.”
The Police Federation of England and Wales and the Police Superintendents’ Association both pulled out of the officer pay review system last year after they declared a loss of confidence.
Lee added: “Our best hope of obtaining a meaningful pay rise will come from the ratification of the new pay system. A lot of work by both police chiefs and the Federation has gone into looking at where police officer pay sits in comparison to a ‘like’ sector. This has been termed as benchmarking within various PRRB evidence submissions.
“Government’s ratification of the well-evidenced data around benchmarking would be a real test of the Government’s commitment towards a fair police pay award. Anything less is likely to further undermine trust in the system, trust in the Government’s commitment toward policing and hit police officer morale and their pockets at a time where the cost of living is rising sharply.”