PFNI calls for urgent review of delayed pay rises
The Police Federation for Northern Ireland (PFNI) says police officers have expressed anger and exasperation over the failure by the devolved administration to sort out long-overdue police pay issues.
PFNI chair Mark Lindsay MBE says the delays are the worst he can remember in his 34 years as a police officer.
He is calling on the Justice Minister to undertake an urgent review into how police pay is progressed in Northern Ireland.
The first issue involves a change to the pay scale for hundreds of sergeants, which would have seen them receive higher payments.
Mr Lindsay said: “The Minister for Justice signed off on this eleven months ago, yet those affected still haven’t been paid their entitlement. Unsurprisingly, this has caused considerable anger for first-line supervisors. They have qualified for the payment but have not had this relatively simple uplift progressed.”
The second area of concern is the failure to progress incremental pay points across all ranks. It means officers’ progression through contractually agreed pay points has not taken place.
“We have unprecedented increases in electricity, gas, heating oil and foodstuffs and delaying timely implementation of pay points means officers are having to make ends meet with several hundred pounds less in their salaries. This is a severe blow to many families. Christmas is around the corner and financial pressures will be great. It is not difficult to understand the depth of anger over these latest delays to pay progression.”
Mr Lindsay pointed to the minimum bureaucracy or delay in the rest of the UK and is asking for the same approach to be taken in Northern Ireland.
“It is immaterial to officers whether blame lies with the PSNI, Department of Justice or the Department of Finance. These matters need to be resolved immediately and a fit-for-purpose process put in place for next year,” he said.
“I have never received so many angry emails and telephone calls from colleagues who once again feel let down by a system of government that fails to acknowledge their contribution to society.
“Since 2010, police pay has deteriorated by 20 per cent in real terms and its time that deterioration was addressed.”