90 days from today is Wed, 23 October 2024

Sussex Police Federation

Chairs Update Q1 2023

3 March 2023

Suspol

 

 

Dear Colleagues,

 

This is the first of my quarterly updates for 2023 so you are all aware of what we have been working on and what we will be looking to work on in the future.

 

 

Pay

 

Over the last 10 years the Police Remuneration Review Body had facilitated a real term pay cut of 25% by not keeping up with inflation. In addition, the Police had been the only emergency service with its workers on a pay freeze.

 

In 2022 the Police Federation of England and Wales tabled a vote of no confidence in the Home Secretary and, agreeing it was not fit for purpose, subsequently withdrew from the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB).

 

At the time of the Government budget announcement in 2022, Forces were only budgeting for a 2.5% - 3% pay rise. On the back of Police Federation of England and Wales actions, officers received a salary award of £1900 which equates to an average of 3.5% – 9% pay rise based on length of service / rank. Locally the Sussex Federation also negotiated with the PCC and Chief Constable, a £500 rise in the Southeast allowance. This culminated a combined £2400 increase, the biggest pay rise we have seen in Sussex for years, but it is still not enough.

 

With our colleagues in other emergency services recently receiving a larger % pay rise, we continue to negotiate and fight for fair pay for Police officers. Already this year, myself and other Federation Representatives have met with the majority of Sussex MP’s in both their constituencies and in Parliament. We have discussed and raised awareness of the declining pay and conditions of our officers, particularly the hardship many are facing and the lack of a suitable pay negotiating body. These meetings have been both positive and productive with all the MP’s we have met with so far, agreeing to raise our concerns direct to the Home Office, with some going direct to the Home Secretary.

 

In addition to this I have also raised these issues with our PCC Katy Bourne and the Chief Constable. Both are acutely aware of the financial challenges the majority of our members are now facing. Following these meetings, the National Police Chiefs Council have also recommended an above inflation rise for officers this year. I look forward to continuing to work together to achieve better pay and conditions for our hard-working Police officers.

 

Conditions

 

Over the last few years, it has become common place for your duties to be changed at late notice. This is either through a cancelled rest day or a change of duty. This is a breach of Regulation 22 which outlines that everyone should know exactly what their shifts are, including start and finish times, 90 days in advance. Sussex Federation have been highlighting this issue with the force for some time and there has been progress in some areas.

We have recently sought legal advice on the constant breaches, which has been shared with the force. We are, the only Federation in the country currently doing this and others are observing to see how this evolves.

We will continue to work with the force to look at different ways of working to ensure the breaches reduce to a point where any changes in shift pattern are few and far between rather than common place.   

  

Sussex Federation House

 

We are thrilled to confirm we have acquired a new Federation Office in Lancing, something that has been in the works for several years.

This new office affords us the ability to provide better services for our members, the opportunity of generating income that we can put back into our membership and brings us in line with the vast majority of other Federation branches nationally, who own their own premises away from their Force. 

 

We are currently supporting a growing number of our members through a multitude of investigations, both as a subject or victim, many of whom understandably prefer not to meet on Police premises. Historically this has left our Federation Reps having to meet officers in local parks and cafés to talk about sensitive issues which is neither ideal nor appropriate. Having this independent space will allow our members to maintain their privacy and confidentiality whilst at their most vulnerable and improves the service we offer.

 

Going forwards, the new office will also provide the necessary space for us to hold all our Branch Board, Branch Council, Conduct & Performance and Health & Safety and Equality meetings, negating the need to hire out conference rooms as we have had to for a number of years. This equates to a substantial saving that we can use to invest back into providing member services such as physiotherapy and counselling (which we hope to provide in the future) whilst using it for other purposes that benefit all our members.

 

I hope you join us in supporting this new venture and we look forward to the positive opportunities it presents.

 

Challenging Wrongful Arrests

 

As we all know in our day-to-day role, there is often the need to make arrests of individuals in order to progress an investigation or safeguard a victim. There should be no difference when it comes to dealing with an officer.

The Federation is supportive of this action, when there is a need to arrest an officer, however, we see time and again where the arrest of officers is not necessary.

Sussex Federation are at the forefront of instigating legal action for wrongful arrests and now are actively progressing a number of occasions where this has happened.

We have recently had some success in this area, with the IOPC settling outside of court on a case of wrongful arrest.

We will continue to hold the IOPC or the force to account in this area. The fact you are a police officer shouldn’t mean that you get arrested.

  

Investigations

 

Our branch currently has over 100 ongoing cases involving Sussex officers that we are supporting.

 

In 2022 there were 115 Reg 17 notices served on Sussex Police Officers. 17 of these led to Gross Misconduct Hearings and 11 in Misconduct meetings.

 

I would like to remind all of our members that if you receive a Reg 17 complaint notice or a Reg 13 notice (probationers) , please contact us asap at admin@sussex.polfed.org where we can arrange for appropriate advice, support and assistance.

 

Meet the Team - Federation Representatives

 

We are eager for our members to actively communicate with the Federation Workplace Reps to highlight any ongoing local issues. Each division’s Fed reps now hold quarterly meetings with their Command Team to communicate these issues, however, if you don’t tell your local Reps about it, we won’t know about it. Following these meetings, your local reps will be sending out quarterly emails to you with updates on the issues they raise on your behalf, including any outcomes.

 

On this note, I cannot thank our hard-working Federation Reps enough for their dedication and hard work. Far too often their voluntary work goes unnoticed, the majority giving up their own time to support their colleagues when they need it the most.

 

To find out who your local reps are, please click here.

 

Sandy Balls Holiday Lodge

 

Our Sandy Balls Holiday Lodge is available to Federated members, and this year’s ballot proved to be the most popular yet. As per feedback we received, we have invested in new mattresses, garden furniture, replaced the bar stools and a few smaller items around the lodge making for a more comfortable stay. The dates are full for this year and the next Ballot opens in August 2023 for 2024 stays. Please keep your eye out for the email later in the year.

 

 

 

Finally, I want you to know that during recent high profile tragic events, we have had regular contact with senior management from within the force who have praised all of you and your ability to come together and work as a team when it is required. All of your hard work and determination does not go unnoticed.

 

As always, if you want to talk about anything, please speak to one of your workplace reps (Meet the team), contact us (office hours), or drop in and see us.

 

Kind regards

 

Daren Egan

Chair Sussex Federation