‘This can’t be dressed up as anything other than a pay cut’
The zero per cent pay award of 2021 set against inflation at that time being at three to four per cent is a better pay award than the average five per cent increase announced by the Government yesterday, says the chair of South Wales Police Federation.
Steve Treharne questioned how long officers could be expected to go on facing daily dangers in their role while being subjected to continual under inflation awards and said the award, when set against inflation, was the worst pay that most officers had faced in decades.
“This can't be dressed up as anything other than another pay cut on top of all the other below inflation awards over the years. The headline figure for new joiners will only bring them up to the pay that they had in 2010 before the starting wage was cut from £23,000 to £21,000,” he explained.
“It is the biggest real terms cut to wages for officers at the higher end of the constable pay scales and higher ranks that we have had for years. Currently the award is a cut in real terms of five per cent.
“We also did not receive any wage rise last year so the figure this year must be averaged out over two years. This, set against the current nine per cent inflation, means we have the largest drop in wages when set against inflation. Sergeants are facing a loss of five per cent against inflation and chief inspectors will see a reduction of around six per cent.”
The Government announced yesterday that police officers will get a pay award of £1,900 from 1 September 2022, which the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) said is positive news for those young in service and new joiners, but is more disappointing for those longer in service and in supervisory ranks who are also struggling financially.
National chair Steve Hartshorn said: “Officers have already faced two years of a blanket pay freeze, a 20 per cent real terms pay cut since 2010, and now huge additional cost of living pressures. The average five per cent settlement is still below inflation, and PFEW believes the Government ‘still has a long way to go’ to demonstrate they’re treating officers with the dignity and respect they deserve, this is only a small first step forward in regaining their trust.
“It is disappointing that the pay increase is not good news for all officers, negatively affecting those in higher ranks. It’s in the Government’s direct interest to ensure that all police officers are paid properly and can pay their bills. If they don’t, retaining the high quality officers our country needs - and this Government promised - will be doomed to fail.
“PFEW has worked, and will continue to work, for better work conditions for all our members.”