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Publications / Circulars

Winsor 2 - PAT Ratified by the Home Secretary

Federation response to Home Secretary's written ministerial statement:

Responding to the WMS on the Police Arbitration Tribunal, Steve Williams, Police Federation of England and Wales says;

"Whilst we remain disappointed with some of the PATs recommendations we acknowledge that the home secretary has honoured the process of the Police Negotiating Board. We accept that today's decision by the home secretary's is binding on the police federation of England and Wales and we will continue to engage fully on behalf of our members."

The Home Secretary has ratified the following:

  • Expertise and Professional Accreditation Allowance rejected
  • Compulsory severance - negotiations to be extended until July 2013
  • Competency Related Threshold Payments phased out between 2013 and 2016
  • On-call at £15 a session
  • No link between regional allowance and performance, but Met included
  • Accept Official Side pay scale for new entrants at circa £19,000

What does this announcement mean?

The Home Secretary's decision to abide by the PNB and PAT process is welcome, even though the PFEW is naturally disappointed with some significant elements of the decision. In particular:

1) Starting salaries

The £4,000 reduction in the starting rate for new officers is ill conceived and fails to reflect the dangers and demands inherent in the job. It could also serve to increase the gender pay gap in the police service. The PFEW has always challenged the basis of this reduction. In advising the Winsor Review to recommend this reduction in pay Professor Disney compared police officers to other workers who were paid average earnings at similar levels. Disney also looked at occupations which he considered might 'in the public eye' be seen as comparable.

As pay research organisation Incomes Data Services (IDS) stated, pay comparisons between jobs should be based on their characteristics, not on jobs with similar average pay. In commenting on the approach used by Disney, IDS made the following observations:

"....what is seen as an appropriate comparator 'in the public eye' is not a robust basis for determining a comparator. Instead, comparators should be determined by reference to fact-based analysis of the jobs in question. By contrast, the approach adopted by Disney is not analytical."

2) Competence Related Threshold Payments

The decision to remove Competence Related Threshold Payments (CRTPs) will have an impact upon officers already at the top of the payscale. The CRTP is not an allowance, but forms part of an officer's pensionable pay. All officers who were recruited into the police service under the current pay structure have a legitimate expectation that, as long as they meet the specific criteria, they are eligible to access CRTP.

3) Compulsory severance

In respect of compulsory severance, the PFEW continues to have severe reservations about its impact upon the Office of Constable, particularly with the increasing politicisation of policing.

The power to make police officers redundant would directly conflict with the Office of Constable. The doctrine of the independence of the Office of Constable was given its clearest expression by Lord Denning in 1968, when he stated that police officers are "answerable to the law and to the law alone." As office-holders, police officers are empowered to resist unlawful orders as well as any undue political pressure.

The power already exists within Police Regulations to dismiss officers for professional misconduct or unsatisfactory performance. However, if an officer is to exercise his or her duties for the benefit of society and free from compromise, they must be confident that their actions will not be held against them and mark them out for selection for compulsory severance in the future.

The PFEW believes that the extra time granted by the PAT should be used by the PNB to fully explore all of the implications of these proposals and to ensure that the unique status of police officers is fully protected.

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