PCC breaks pay cap to reward PCSOs and staff

Police community support officers (PCSOs) and staff in the West Midlands will receive a pay rise in line with their police officer colleagues if the public backs another rise in the precept.

Oct 20, 2017

Police community support officers (PCSOs) and staff in the West Midlands will receive a pay rise in line with their police officer colleagues if the public backs another rise in the precept. Police and crime commissioner (PCC) David Jamieson intends to increase local council tax bills by £5 again to offer West Midlands Police’s entire workforce a consistent wage increase. The announcement breaks the public sector pay cap as staff and PCSOs were not offered the one per cent unfunded ‘bonus’ on top of the one per cent rise that officers received in September. It also means West Midlands Police will not have to make redundancies to afford the pay rise. Mr Jamieson said: “Just like officers, staff and PCSOs play a hugely important role keeping the region safe and deserve the same treatment. That is why I am taking tough decisions to ensure they receive a pay rise too. “Emergency call handlers make life and death decisions, it is regretful that the Government fails to see them as ‘frontline’ workers. In the West Midlands we most certainly recognise the contribution all our staff make to keeping us safe. “I regret this announcement doesn’t allow me to raise pay in line with inflation for staff, PCSOs and officers, however this shows how much I value the work all our workforce does.” Despite the council tax rise, the policing precept in the West Midlands will remain the second cheapest in the country and will still be £60 less per household than surrounding forces. Last year’s £5 increase raised £4.7 million for the force, but the Government pay announcement for officers will cost £3.04 million in 2017/18. West Midlands Police has already announced plans to recruit 800 new officers, 200 staff and 150 PCSOs through council tax increases and spending reserves. Mr Jamieson estimates that all non-essential reserves will be gone by 2020. The announcement comes the day after Norfolk Constabulary announced plans to get rid of all 150 of its PCSOs as they now cost nearly the same as a police constable. The East Anglian force believes its new workforce model will contribute to savings of £1.6 million per year. Welcoming Mr Jamieson’s decision, unions Unite and Unison commended the PCC for his supportive comments towards police staff and PCSOs. Both unions are currently locked in national pay negotiations with the Police Staff Council.

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