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20 February 2023
It is a real ‘kick in the teeth’ that police pay has dropped so much compared to other public sector workers, Greater Manchester Police Federation has said.
Vice-Chair Mike Peake was responding to statistics revealed by ITV’s Peston programme, which showed that police pay has dropped by 13% since 2009 – more than in any other public sector.
The figures come in the middle of a series of strikes over pay by workers in various sectors. Police officers are prohibited from taking industrial action as they are Crown servants.
Mike said: “When considering the pay rises that other public sector service workers have received in recent times, it is a real kick in the teeth that police pay in real terms has dropped so significantly year on year.
“Due to our unique role, police officers do not have the right to strike, and the Government needs to do much more to recognise the dangers that officers face on a day-to-day basis.
“Policing is the only service that cannot say no, and carries on serving members of the public in need, when others have the option to strike, choosing not to in order to achieve better pay.”
Police officers’ dissatisfaction with their pay was laid bare in the latest PFEW Pay and Morale Survey, which showed that 86% of GMP officers were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their overall pay.
The survey also found that 97% of GMP officers said their cost of living had increased in the month before the survey was taken, and 89% felt worse off financially than five years ago.
And 94% of GMP respondents said they do not feel respected by the Government.
Mike said GMP Federation had discussed the survey results with the force. He explained: “Discussions have been held and our concerns have been raised to GMP force leadership.
“There is a local expectation that the national federation use this information during Governmental discussions, and local MPs need to take stock of the impact that exists amongst some of their constituents, who are serving police officers.”
The survey also showed that 71% of GMP officers would not recommend joining the police to others. That view was echoed by PFEW National Chair Steve Hartshorn, who told MPs he would not join the police service now if he was at the start of his career.
Mike added: “I would agree with Steve. Policing is not the same vocation as it was when I joined, there is too much finger pointing and blame, rather than recognising the hard work and commitment that the vast majority of officers carry out each day.
“There are many other vocations in the private sector that pay more money and carry less risk. In order to atttract the best quality recruits policing needs to be a financially attractive option.”