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Gwent Police Federation

Federation calls for 17 per cent pay rise for officers

9 March 2023

Police Federation calls for a 17 per cent rise for members have been backed by Gwent branch chair Matthew Candy.

Today’s pay claim comes after a study from the independent Social Market Foundation (SMF) think tank showed wages had been lagging behind inflation by around 20 per cent since 2000.

The SMF said the decline in police pay was likely to be linked to the restrictions on officers’ right to strike which puts them at a distinct disadvantage to all other workers including other emergency service personnel.

It found real-terms pay increases across other public sector organisations had risen between 1 per cent and 14 per cent in the same period.

Matthew said: “The Police Federation today called for a pay increase of 17 per cent which reflects the current cost of living crisis but also takes into account years of real-terms pay cuts and the fact that our members are not allowed to take industrial action.

“It has become clear that the historic strike ban puts our members at a disadvantage as our colleagues in other blue light services have used the last resort of industrial action to secure appropriate pay deals this year.

“Police officers have become the poor relations of the public sector over the years and it is time the balance was redressed with an acceptable pay offer that takes all these issues into account.

“Our members didn’t join the Force to get rich but they do expect to be treated with fairness, dignity and respect and that starts with better pay.

“They work incredibly hard making sure our communities are kept safe and secure and often put themselves in danger to do so and that determination and dedication must be properly recognised and rewarded.”

The SMF research found other protective services workers had received an average real-terms rise of 1 per cent since 2000 while other public sector workers had received increases equalling 14 per cent. MPs salaries went up by 4 per cent in real terms during the same period. 

The report said a key factor in discussions of police pay was the “P-factor” which the SMF has suggested should be a figure offered in addition to their findings. 

The report references the P-factor as an element of police pay that reflects the unique obligations and responsibilities police officers’ experience relative to other comparable roles. 

This includes their unique risk of exposure to physical and psychological harm, alongside the restrictions that are placed upon their private lives.

The P-factor payment does not feature in the report highlighting that the actual figure of degradation of police pay is significantly higher.

Police Federation national chair Steve Hartshorn said the SMF research should act as a  “wake-up call for policy-makers in the UK”.

He said: “Police officers put their lives on the line every day to serve and protect their communities.

“That is why today our National Council has taken the decision to call for a minimum of 17 per cent increase in pay for our officers.

“The Government can no longer sit by and ignore our members’ basic needs and must recognise the impact of this independent research.