17 May 2022
This year’s PFEW Annual Conference – Fighting For Fairness started with a session to address the most pressing concern of police officers - pay and conditions.
PFEW National Secretary Alex Duncan told delegates that a recent survey undertaken by the staff association of 60,000 police officers had revealed that seven out of ten police officers were considering leaving the force because of unfair pay and conditions. “It is frightening. They are not happy and not remunerated,” said Mr Duncan.
Anchoring the debate, George Pascoe-Watson, Chair of Portland Communications, asked Mr Duncan what kind of confidence building measures were required, to which he replied: “It is important to recognise the unique status of police officers when it comes to pay.”
Comparing the status of pay and conditions of their counterparts in Scotland, PFEW National Deputy Secretary John Partington said they are better off because they have better mechanisms in place. “They also have a better working relationship with the Government. If we can have the same as them then we are happy,” he added.
Asked by Mr Pascoe-Watson if it was time to campaign for industrial rights for police officers, Mr Duncan said PFEW’s dialogue with the Government has not been what it should have been. “Our survey found that 93 per cent of police officers feel that the Government does not value them. This is a real feeling. We need to get things back on track. It is about the full package. Police officers are not feeling the balance with pay and annual leave.”
Mr Partington renewed PFEW’s appeal to the Government for establishing a medal to recognise the services of emergency workers who had died in line of duty. “It is annoying when you keep asking the Government and you don’t hear back. It is a simple ask of the Government. And you know when they want to do something quickly they do it.”
Concluding the session, Mr Duncan said unfair pay and conditions of police officers will adversely impact the society, adding: “It is pertinent that police officers are properly remunerated and recruited otherwise it will have an impact on the society.”