NARPO comment on police pay
We at NARPO believe the leaked letter featured in the Daily Telegraph from the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith on the matter of Police Pay will be seen by all officers as the clearest indication of the Home Office intention to reduce the value of police pay not just this year but into the future. It is the culmination of a disgraceful campaign by the Home Office to interfere with the police pay negotiating machinery which has effectively stood the test of time since those days of police unrest in the late 1970s created by poor pay that many of us in NARPO remember.
The arbitration award is already below both the claim made on officer’s behalf and what they could have expected under the previously agreed formula. It is well below inflation. The disgraceful move to implement the award from 1st December rather than the 1st September further reduces its value. For many officers the arbitration decision was just about palatable and its blow softened by the thought of a little back money to the actual annual pay review date.
This proposal in itself will be seen by most officers for what it is, a complete failure of Government to support policing by failing to honour a decision properly arrived at through the negotiation body. We are sure that they will be asking what this means for their future and the future of the service.
At a time when the public expect and the Government relies on the police to be concentrating on defeating crime and terrorism in society, it is surely not the most enlightened move to further effect the morale of the service negatively by this proposed failure to ratify the arbitration decision.
Many of us in NARPO have seen the results of declining police pay in the past and its effect on the service delivered to the public. We sympathise with serving officers who must see this latest move and the threat of a pay review body as further evidence that they cannot trust this Government on pay.
They have a right to expect better and have NARPO’s full support in their efforts to achieve fair pay and an effective negotiation body now and into the future.