Officers in Northern Ireland will finally receive a pay rise in line with their English and Welsh colleagues following months of uncertainty over their remuneration.
The Department of Justice announced a one per cent consolidated pay increase for Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) officers as well as a one per cent ‘bonus’ payment on Monday (April 16).
The increase mirrors the award given to officers in England and Wales last September, and will be backdated to that month to ensure they maintain parity with their mainland colleagues.
PSNI officers did not receive a pay rise in 2017 due to the collapse of the Stormont Executive.
Department of Justice Permanent Secretary Nick Perry said the award reflects the PRRB’s “emphasis on the justification for continued parity between the respective forces” in the UK.
In March, the Police Federation for Northern Ireland (PFNI) lodged a claim for a pay rise of 3.4 per cent due to the failure to implement last year’s recommendations.
The PFNI had asked for a 2.8 per cent increase, while both the PSNI and the Northern Ireland Policing Board proposed a one per cent uplift for federated and superintending ranks last year.
The Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) recommended that officers should get a consolidated two per cent increase, but the Department of Justice’s decision to implement half as a non-consolidated bonus means it will not be pensionable.
The one per cent bonus will also not be included in calculations for other payments based on salary, such as overtime.
The PRRB also proposed a two per cent rise in the Northern Ireland Transitional Allowance and the Dog Handlers’ Allowance, but these awards will increase by just one per cent.
PFNI chair Mark Lindsay said: “This has been a long time coming. The recommendations were made last summer and it was a source of disappointment that they weren’t implemented on September 1.
“This award is in line with what police officers received in England and Wales and maintains the important element of pay parity.
“We have currently submitted evidence supporting a rise of 3.4 per cent for 2018/19 in line with the Treasury’s inflation forecast. Going forward we’d like to see the pay policy for public sector workers, including police officers, reflect the rate of inflation.”