Following the news of a pay freeze for police officers in November 2020, PFEW launched a national campaign on behalf of members with the aim to reset police-Government relations and fight for a fairer pay system that acknowledges the tremendous efforts of police officers who risk their lives every day to keep communities safe and considers the extra pressure of increased inflation on living costs.
Police officers have suffered a 20 per cent real-terms cut in their pay since 2010. This figure is set to increase further with costs of living rising substantially and inflation at the highest level this decade.
The current pay mechanism is overseen by the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) established to conduct an independent ‘evidence-based approach’ to determine police officer pay. However, the PRRB itself is limited to considering matters directly requested by Government, inhibiting the independence of the body and making the process ineffective and unfair.
Aims and objectives
The pay campaign calls for an alternative to the unjust police pay review mechanism that has impacted officers for years and been the source of disputes with successive governments.
PFEW has gathered compelling data from members including Manx officers via various surveys throughout the last year to demonstrate the need for fair pay for officers.
It is a shared ambition that this campaign will result in an independently fair pay mechanism for police officer pay and conditions that officers and staff associations have confidence in.
The PFEW withdrew from the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) after recommendations were again disregarded by the Government, seeing officers with no uplift in pay despite the efforts and challenges faced during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The PFEW hand-delivers a letter to the Prime Minister and Chancellor setting out the withdrawal based on the zero per cent pay award for police officers, disregarding their personal efforts and sacrifices during the pandemic.
PFEW trialled a number of hashtags to support the impact of the pay campaign. The top two impactful hashtags with the wider public and members were:
#PayOurPolice and #PoliceUnderPressure
PFEW led a myth-busting campaign around the current pay and conditions for police officers and ran multiple op-eds in national newspapers to raise awareness of the campaign.
PFEW coordinated public polling through a specialist research team, finding that support for the police is high; with four in five supporting a pay increase at the next opportunity. Around three-quarters of respondents thought it is the responsibility of government to ensure police are paid fairly.
You can read the results of the public polling here.
The PFEW, Superintendents’ Association (PSA) and the Chief Police Officers' Staff Association (CPOSA) discuss the legal options available to the staff associations.
PFEW ran the Pay and Morale campaign to gather data on the current conditions faced by police officers.
Pay and Morale Survey reveals:
93% said they do not feel they are respected as a result of poor pay
95% said treatment such as this had a negative impact on their morale, and 84% said treatment by the public had a negative impact on their morale
67% said they would not recommend joining the police to others, a dramatic increase on last year
82% of those who intend to resign from the police said their morale had a major effect on their intention to resign, 77% said the treatment of the police had a major impact on this decision
92% said they are not fairly paid for the stresses and strains of their job and 86% of respondents said they do not feel fairly paid for the hazards within their job
74% of respondents said they feel worse off financially compared to five years ago and 73% of respondents said they feel worse off financially compared to 12 months ago
A Judicial Review is filed after a letter before action is sent putting the Government on notice that court proceedings could be brought forward.
PFEW launched a pay poll to gather further evidence so they can continue lobbying the UK Government for a fair pay increase.
Overall 57,451 officers responded revealing:
99% strongly agreed police deserve a pay rise in line with inflation and cost of living
96% strongly agreed police deserve a pay rise that adequately compensates for the risk associated with their work
95% strongly agreed pay for dangerous jobs, like police work, should reflect the risk of their work
93% strongly agreed police are undervalued
65% think the current starting salary for police officers would negatively influence potential new recruits from wanting to join the service
69% have thought about leaving the service in the last 12 months