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Suffolk Police Federation

Federation will campaign for industrial rights

8 July 2024

The failure of the Government to treat officers fairly over pay has prompted them to vote for the Police Federation to campaign for industrial rights, according to Suffolk Police Federation secretary Ben Hudson.

A total of 97.7 per cent of officers who took part in a national poll conducted by the Police Federation of England and Wales wanted the staff association to launch the campaign which will call for a fair process of collective bargaining and binding arbitration when the Government considers police officer pay.

“This gives the Police Federation a firm mandate,” says Ben. “Officers are frustrated, they are fed up and they feel they are just not getting a fair deal on pay.

“They have suffered a 20 per cent cut in their pay in real terms over recent years, but it’s not just about the fact they have been given below inflation pay rises. It’s more about the fact that the current pay review mechanism is just not independent.

 

 

“The Government directs the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) on what pay award it can consider, and that even if the evidence submitted to the panel proves that a higher award would be in order, it can still be limited.

“Even if PRRB comes up with an award within the Government remit, it still has the option to over-rule PRRB’s recommendations and, as a final issue with this process, there is no access to arbitration either.”

Arbitration

The PRRB replaced the previous pay award mechanism – the Police Negotiating Board (PNB) – in 2014. Under PNB, officers had access to independent arbitration.

Police officers currently have restrictions placed on them, including bans on joining a trade union or taking industrial action. But, in return for officers accepting these restrictions, successive governments have committed to treating officers fairly on pay.

“Sadly, in recent years the Government has failed to honour this commitment as far as we are concerned. We have stood by and watched other groups of workers resort to industrial action when they have been unhappy with their pay award and then seen them secure a better deal.

“Now our members want to be afforded the same rights as other workers so they too have options.”

Fair pay

The Police Federation poll on industrial rights ran from 3 to 21 June this year and attracted 50,103 responses.

The Federation’s National Council and National Board will now start to create the campaign for the introduction of a fair and binding pay mechanism.

“While this work is undertaken, we will be seeking meetings with our newly-elected MPs in Suffolk so that we can discuss the results of this survey with them and hopefully gain their support for ensuring that police officers are treated fairly when it comes to their pay.

“Police pay should reflect officers’ unique role in our communities, the challenges they encounter and the very real risks they face. When others are running away from danger, it is our members who are running in the opposite direction. They put their lives on the line to protect the public and they deserve a fair deal on pay,” says Ben.

READ MORE: Federation calls on Government to fulfil election promises.

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July 2024
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