Police officers have given everything. Yet again, the Government has given them nothing
28 July 2021
“Police officers have given everything. Yet again, the Government has given them nothing”
That was the message taken to the heart of power today as police officers from across the country came to Westminster to voice their fury at their treatment by the Government.
A huge billboard carrying the message “No Covid Vaccine. No Police Pay Rise. No Confidence in Priti Patel” accompanied the officers at it reminded those working in The House of Commons, The Home Office and 10 Downing Street of how the Government has betrayed the country’s hard-working police officers.
Brave colleagues who risked their safety – and sadly that of their families – as they kept people in the country safe over the last 18 months of the Covid-19 pandemic were last week rewarded with a 0% pay rise by Government.
Andy Symonds, Chair of Norfolk Police Federation, said: “It is only right that we as the representatives of hardworking police officers right across the country make our views known to those in power.
“We have seen during this pandemic that this Government and Home Secretary fail to protect police officers by giving us priority for the vaccine. We’ve had to rely on scraps from the Vaccine dinner table. We’ve then heard that this Government and Home Secretary tell us that they ‘absolutely recognise the bravery, commitment and professionalism of our police who work night and day to keep us safe’.
“Clearly these words don’t stretch to offering officers a pay rise. In fact they don’t even extend to allowing the pay review body to be truly independent in allowing them even to recommend what pay rise officers should get.
“The Home Secretary herself set the remit in which the so called independent pay review body had to work to. She said that they were not to even recommend anything on an uplift in pay. What a sham of a process that many stakeholders place huge amounts of work on in gathering and submitting reports to the pay review body.
“So is it any wonder that these hollow platitudes mean nothing to officers, particularly those young in service who are facing financial difficulties?”
As a result of the vaccine and pay betrayals, the Police Federation of England and Wales has passed a vote of no confidence in Home Secretary Priti Patel and has withdrawn its support and engagement from the Police Remuneration Review Body, labelling the current police officer pay mechanism ‘not fit for purpose’.
Andy added: “Platitudes are trotted out by this Government and Home Secretary on a regular basis but are not backed by actions in the form of a fair pay rise.
“The Home Secretary doesn’t see the officers I represent who are broken both physically and mentally. She does not support the officers who’ve had to be Ill Health retired as they’ve been seriously injured in the execution of their duties. She doesn’t see the impact of the toll the job of policing has on not only the officer but their families. Officers know it’s a stressful, difficult, dangerous and unforgiving job. So in return they want to be treated and paid fairly.
“You only have to look at the body which makes recommendations on MP’s pay. It’s called the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA). This body does not get a minister of the Government writing to them to set out their remit. This is because they are a truly independent body set up to recommend what pay rise if any they should award MP’s. They are not beholden to Government in terms of being given instructions on what they can or cannot do. So we simply want the same.
“I call on the Home Secretary to make the only two honourable and fair decisions available to her; to offer officers a 3% pay rise and make changes to how officers pay and conditions are decided by making the pay review body truly independent.”
The Police Federation of England and Wales has now called on the Government to dispense with policing platitudes and to agree to work with the Police Federation on an entirely new and fairer system of remuneration decision-making.
And to reverse the 0% pay award decision and give our police officers a meaningful pay increase. #FairPayForPolice