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Publications / Circulars

Membership subscription increase by 93p per week as of 1st January 2010

Following notification this lunchtime, I am sending you the earliest possible notice of the proposed national increase in Police Federation subscriptions. Whilst I will be attending a National Chairman's and Secretaries meeting next week, where the proposed increase will be discussed in detail, I feel it right and proper to make you aware of the increase now.

In recent years the Joint Central Committee of the Police Federation of England and Wales in Leatherhead has done everything possible on our behalf to keep membership subscription increases to a minimum. However, we now find ourselves with a number of unknowns and uncertainty about the future and changes to legal aid provision which means we need to ensure we have sufficient reserve funds held by the PFEW nationally to continue to provide a high quality service and support you, our members; whether that be assisting legal action or fighting to ensure that fair pay and the best possible terms and conditions for police officers are maintained. Therefore from 1st January 2010 membership subscriptions will rise by 93p from £4.05 per week to £4.98 per week.

We live with the ever-present threat of workforce modernisation, reform and the changes this could mean to the workforce mix. As police authorities and chief officers feel the financial squeeze we face the threat of increasing numbers of non-sworn police staff and a freeze on recruitment of police officers. With a natural wastage of several thousand police officers nationally per year this will have a detrimental impact on policing in a relatively short timescale. We therefore need to ensure we have sufficient funds available to fight to protect the Office of Constable and to ensure that police numbers remain high and that all officers receive the best possible equipment and training.

Another key issue is that the government is also changing Legal Aid provision. These changes will not only result in a greater burden on the Police Federation of England and Wales but also increased expenditure if we are to be able to continue to provide the best possible service and representation for all members. Therefore 14% (0.55p) of the planned subscription increase is to start to cover the changes in the Legal Aid provisions

Conscious of the UK fiscal situation, we are likely to have a battle when the current three-year police officer pay deal comes to an end. Whilst assuring us they will not interfere with the current three-year settlement, both the Conservative Party and Labour Party have signalled their intention to freeze or restrict public sector pay and pensions in the coming years. It is therefore vitally important for future negotiation that we have sufficient funds available should we need to fight a long and sustained pay or pension campaign.

It is certainly not an easy decision to increase membership subscriptions and not one the Joint Central Committee at Leatherhead has taken lightly. The Constables' Central Committee (CCC), the Sergeants' Central Committee (SCC) and the Inspectors' Central Committee (ICC) have all agreed that they will only take a cost of living element from the subscription rise needed to effectively run the CCC, SCC and ICC offices and will donate any surplus to the Joint Fund.

We all know the value and benefit of membership of the Police Federation of England and Wales; it is not just an insurance policy should officers find themselves requiring legal support, but also ensures officers have access to welfare advice, proper training and the right equipment to do the job safely. Within the Police Negotiating Board and through lobbying politicians and other stakeholders the Police Federation fights hard both locally and nationally to ensure officers receive the best possible pay, allowances and pensions.

Increasing subscriptions will ensure that police officers continue to receive the very best service and are represented to the highest of standards. This will also provide sufficient funds for the fight to preserve the Office of Constable and ensure the safety, well-being and working conditions of all police officers now and in the future.

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