One per cent pay rise “just won’t cut it”, say Bobbies

POLICE officers are “feeling the pinch” as a potential one per cent pay rise fails to alleviate worries about take-home pay.

The current two-year police officer pay freeze is expected to come to an end on 31 August this year – but the coalition government has previously said that pay increases for the next two years will be capped at one per cent.

This expected rise will be less than half of that seen for officers in the three years preceding the pay freeze.

A deal was struck in 2008 that saw an increase in officers’ pay of 2.65 per cent for 2008/09, 2.6 per cent for 2009/10 and 2.55 per cent for 2010/11.

Ian Rennie, Staff Side Secretary for the Police Negotiating Board, raised the matter in a letter to Police Minister Damian Green at the end of February.

Mr Rennie pointed out that – despite the potential pay rise – the progression increment freeze, 2.7 per cent inflation and the removal of competence related threshold payments (CRTPs) meant that officers’ take-home pay is still being reduced. On top of that, any increase in pension contributions would effectively be an “additional pay cut”, he said.

Frontline officers have said such a small pay rise “just wouldn’t cut it”.

There will still be “money missing from our pockets”, said one PC from Essex Police. “Our pay is just being whittled away and I find it quite sickening to be honest,” he said.

“What is one per cent?” asked PC Steve Duncan, from Northumbria Police. “It’s nothing. It’s well below inflation.”

Jon Christopher, Chairman of West Yorkshire Police Federation, said the pay rise would “certainly help a lot of fellow officers during these hard times”. But he added: “Since the pay freeze we have seen rises in pension contributions, the phasing out and reduction in CRTPs not to mention the ever-increasing price of fuel, food and the cost of living in general.

“Police officers are certainly feeling the pinch and are now somewhat aggrieved to know that MPs have put the debate surrounding their own pension contributions on hold. It appears that we are not ‘all in this together’.”