Page last updated at 15:46 GMT, Thursday, 6 December 2007

Police to receive 2.5% pay award

Police recruits
Officers' groups say they are getting a pay award lower than inflation

The home secretary has announced that police officers in England and Wales will receive a 2.5% pay rise.

The increase is backdated to 1 December and will see all officers paid a minimum of 21,500, while those with the longest service receiving 33,800.

Officers' groups are angry the award was not backdated to September, unlike in Scotland.

The Police Federation is considering balloting its members to bring back the right to strike.

It says that the pay award will effectively be only 1.9% because the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith had written to the chancellor asking for his support not to backdate the rise to September.

This is contemptuous behaviour by the home secretary
Jan Berry, Police Federation

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's World at One programme, Ms Smith said: "We've been through a process of arbitration.

"The arbitration board recommended an award of 2.5 per cent which we have accepted.

"But I have staged it so that instead of coming into operation on the first of September it comes into operation on the first of December".

Ms Smith added that the pay award would be "just under 2%" keeping it in line with the government's target for inflation.

The Police Superintendent's Association spokesman Ch Supt Patrick Stayt said its members felt let down and angry by the government's decision.

"The award by the Police Arbitration Tribunal should have been implemented in full and in the way they recommended. "

'Emergency meeting'

The Scottish Government has confirmed that it will go ahead with the 2.5% rise, backdated to September.

Earlier this year nurses in Scotland were granted their pay rise in full. That too was ahead of colleagues south of the border, who received their pay rises in stages.

The Police Federation of England and Wales said officers would receive a lower-than-inflation pay award.

Jan Berry, the federation's chairman, said: "This is contemptuous behaviour by the home secretary and has rightly angered the 140,000 police officers in England and Wales who have been waiting patiently for their pay award since 1 September."

We are extremely disappointed that the home secretary has decided to stage the award
Phil Blundell
Association of Police Authorities

She added that a "number of officers" were saying they should have the "right to take industrial action".

The federation is calling for an emergency meeting of its leaders in London next week.

"Police officers should either have full industrial rights or independent binding arbitration - currently we have neither," Ms Berry said.

The Association of Police Authorities (APA) and the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) have also expressed disappointment at the alleged contents of the letter.

Phil Blundell, vice-chairman of the APA, said: "The APA welcomed the recommendation from the Police Arbitration Tribunal last week and believes that the 2.5% police pay award should be implemented in full from 1 September.

"We are extremely disappointed that the home secretary has decided to stage the award."


SEE ALSO
Pay deal boost for Scots police
06 Dec 07 |  Scotland
Police officers accept pay offer
29 Nov 07 |  Scotland
Police in strike action threat
28 Jul 07 |  London

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