Now police want 17% pay rise for the rank-and-file
POLICE officers last night joined the chorus of public sector workers demanding steep pay rises, calling for a minimum 17 per cent boost.
The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) said the increase was necessary because officers’ pay had declined in real terms.
It also said the move would reflect that police officers are barred from taking industrial action.
The federation published research by think-tank the Social Market Foundation (SMF) which suggested officers’ pay had fallen in real terms by 17 per cent since 2000. Steve Hartshorn, chairman of the PFEW which represents
‘They put their lives on the line’
139,000 officers, said: ‘The Government can no longer sit by and ignore our members’ basic needs and must recognise the impact of this independent research.
‘In the context of ongoing inflation, indications of a police retention crisis, and reports of officers being forced to turn to food banks, the issue of police pay must be addressed now after more than a decade of being ignored.’
He added: ‘ Police officers deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, and that begins with better pay. They must be compensated fairly for doing a job that is so important and unique that they do not have access to industrial rights.’
Mr Hartshorn went on: ‘ Police officers put their lives on the line every day to serve and protect their communities. That is why our national council has taken the decision to call for a minimum of 17 per cent increase in pay for our officers.’ Officers’ annual pay rises are decided by the independent Police Remuneration Review Body.
From September 1 last year it awarded police officers of all ranks in England and Wales an extra £1,900 a year.
A graded increase amounting to five per cent overall was targeted at officers on the lowest pay scales, who got up to 8.8 per cent. Constables currently start on £28,101 a year and can see salaries rise to a basic wage of £43,032 depending on experience.
Sergeants’ salaries range from £45,867 to £48,129. Inspectors and chief inspectors earn between £54,600 and £63,627.
Explaining its conclusions, the SMF report said: ‘This decline in real terms pay may in part be due to restrictions on police officers’ right to strike. We also looked at what would happen if these real terms trends continued over the next five years.
‘This would imply a further four per cent real-terms decline in police officer pay by 2027, compared to a one per cent and three per cent rise for private and public sector workers, respectively.’