Pay cap must be lifted for police staff too, say unions

The government needs to come up with the cash to fund a decent pay rise for police staff this year or jobs and services will be cut, the GMB, UNISON and Unite have warned today (Monday).

Police employers have said that without extra money from the Home Office, they are not in a position to make a pay offer this year for police community support officers, 999 call handlers, investigators or the many other police staff in England and Wales.

The pay award announced last month for police officers – of a 1% pay rise and a 1% bonus – is not backed with extra resources. Police employers say there is no point discussing the pay of police staff unless ministers make more funding available.

UNISON national officer for police Ben Priestley said: “Police forces are a team. Detectives couldn’t track down dangerous criminals without all the PCSOs, crime scene investigators, clerks and other essential staff who work alongside them. It would be totally unacceptable for police staff to get less than officers.

“The recent police officer pay award have might broken through the 1% cap, but it still came in way below the cost of living. A decent pay rise is long overdue for everyone who works for the police service.

“The Home Office is expecting police forces to find the money for the wage rise from existing budgets. That can only mean more job losses and station closures. The government must dig deep and come up with the cash to fund pay properly. Otherwise the only winners will be those that seek to break the law or bring terror to our communities.”

GMB national office for police staff Kevin Brandstatter said: “Police staff who protect our communities and keep our streets safe – responding to serious and traumatic incidents such as the Grenfell fire and terrorist attacks in London and Manchester – have already lost thousands because of the government’s seven year pinch on their pay.

“The continued failure to make a pay offer demonstrates a fundamental lack of respect for police staff and has caused months of unnecessary uncertainty. GMB research shows police staff suffering from overwork and stress, to the extent that some were asking their own parents for help with the costs of feeding and clothing their children. It’s not acceptable.

“The government’s faffing and flailing has further delayed progress. Ministers’ desperate promises to pay for peanuts pay rises for a small minority and to fund them with cuts to front line services – has knocked a hole in budgets, adding insult to injury. It’s high time all police staff received a decent and funded pay rise. We expect progress when talks resume later this month.”

Unite national officer Jim Kennedy said: “We cannot have a situation where the government is robbing Peter to pay Paul and dictating which public servants are deserving and underserving of a pay rise.

“Government ministers need to ensure that police officers, police staff and PCSOs all get the decent pay rise they need and the public the service they deserve, by providing additional funding to end the last seven years of pay misery.”

Notes to editors:

– Police staff account for 40% of the total police workforce in England and Wales.

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