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Hertfordshire Police Federation

‘It is time we got the pay rise we deserve’

4 April 2023

I will make no apology for once again focusing on police pay in this month’s message.

It is an issue that will not go away until the Government accepts that we are not being fairly paid for the work we do and that the crisis in policing will not end until it does so.

An independent think tank called the Social Market Foundation carried out research which showed that over the last 20 years police pay has fallen by 17 per cent compared to other public sector workers who got between a one per cent and 14 per cent increase.

It shows just how badly the police have been treated over the last two decades and especially over the last 10 years and the fact we can’t strike this has been taken advantage of by government.

We took the hit with austerity and cutbacks, we worked incredibly hard throughout the pandemic, we are delivering results day in and day out and it is now high time we got the increase we deserve.

The Social Market Foundation was working independently of the Police Federation and has come back with these findings. 

In fairness it’s what we have been saying all along but our message isn’t always heard. But now we have this independent evidence that supports our claims over police pay.

The Government has talked about introducing laws that would restrict people from striking and has said that to do this it will always be fair around pay. 

But it is not fair around pay and policing is a classic example of this.

It really is time the Government listened to policing. We are in dire straits with people leaving and we are left with a very inexperienced workforce because officers are quitting in their droves.

We can’t retain people because we do not receive fair pay for the work we do, there are restrictions on our private lives and there are sacrifices we make when we become officers. As soon as people begin to feel the impact of these factors, they start looking for another job outside the service.

Politicians have to look at the findings of our pay and morale survey and take them seriously. Our voice has to be heard.

Our branch secretary, Al Wollaston, and I have met and opened dialogue with six of Hertfordshire’s 11 MPs and that has led to some very positive conversations as we have put the experiences of our members across to them.

Some of those MPs have suggested we get back around the negotiating table with the Police Remuneration Review Body but we pulled out of that process because we weren't given any assurances around its independence.

None of the questions that we raised around the PRRB when we withdrew a few years ago have been answered by the Government. Ministers have not even tried to address them even though we have tried to engage with them.

How could we possibly go back round the table with them when the questions we have asked have not been answered?

If the Government is serious about ensuring that we can provide a good service to the public they need to start listening to the Police Federation and start understanding that we need to be properly paid for what we do. 

They can’t keep sucking money out of police officers’ pay.

In the meantime, you can rest assured that we will keep pushing for fair pay for our members.