PFEW ‘deeply concerned’ with NPCC transparency amid pay reform talks

Policing leaders’ plans for pay reform could put the service’s review body and rank-and-file officers in an “invidious position”, staff associations have warned.

Feb 5, 2018

Policing leaders’ plans for pay reform could put the service’s review body and rank-and-file officers in an “invidious position”, staff associations have warned. The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) and the Police Superintendents’ Association of England and Wales have made a 3.4 per cent pay rise submission. But in their application to the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB), ‘deep concerns’ were raised about the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s (NPCC’s) proposals on the issue of pay. The PFEW believes the remit letter – sent by Home Secretary Amber Rudd to the PRRB on December 7 – indicates that pay and reward plans being discussed are more advanced than initially thought. In response, the NPCC has said detailed proposals are not expected until next year, but the early submissions allow the PRRB to consider the future direction when making decisions. The NPCC is also criticised for a failure to bring discussions to the appropriate arena and a lack of engagement in the Police Consultative Forum. Calum Macleod, PFEW chair, asked the PRRB to “be brave again”, adding that the “government must stop patting us on the back with one hand, while picking our pockets with the other”. PFEW General Secretary Andy Fittes said the 3.4 per cent pay rise is considered in line with inflation and also called for last year’s unconsolidated one per cent increase to be consolidated. He added: “We find it difficult to comment on how the uplift would support NPCC plans, given the lack of any written proposals for pay restructuring, but officers must not be penalised for the NPCC`s lack of progress. “We note that the remit letter states any award must be considered ‘in the context of how it will support overarching NPCC proposals and timetable for a new pay structure.’ “For four years now the NPCC has implied that sizable uplifts might scupper their plans: that savings must be built up in order to pay for the changes coming; and that one way to do this is to make uplifts unconsolidated. “Given the NPCC has not provided a firm timescale and plans, we ask when this line of argument will end. It is not palatable to officers who should not suffer financial loss for the NPCC’s failure to make progress.” NPCC’s proposals to make officer apprenticeships start on a salary of £18,000 was considered a “derisory offer” in the submission, which would “cause considerable hardship to any apprentice taking it up”. “The NPCC has failed to provide proposals or time-limited targeted pay, despite the fact they have asked for targeted pay to be included two years in a row in the remit letter,” Mr Fittes continued. “We are dumbfounded as the NPCC has failed to provide any proposals, either in draft or final.” Chief Constable Francis Habgood, national lead for pay and conditions, said the final proposals will be shaped with the input of staff associations, including the PFEW, which he claimed are “actively involved” in each element of reform. He added: “Later this week, we will be publishing our submission to the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB). We will make recommendations about an inflationary pay uplift for 2018 and a proposal for a salary range for apprentices. “We will also update the PRRB with our progress on transformative changes to equip our workforce for the challenges of modern policing, and how these changes could influence future pay and reward for officers. “It is disappointing that Andy Fittes has been critical about the progress in the last year. We have been careful to gather evidence to inform proposals rather than rushing to conclusions and we need to understand how and when the various elements of workforce reform will be delivered in policing, such as new role profiles, advanced practitioners and apprentices, before we consider the pay implications. “In terms of the flexibility around bonus payments, we have met with staff associations to discuss options and consulted with all chief constables, and proposals will be put forward as soon as possible.”

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