On Tuesday (19 July), the Government announced pay increases for millions of public sector workers, including NHS staff, teachers and the police.
Following the announcement, the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) said that the award it received was “still below inflation” and while it wants “all workers across the public sector to get the pay rise they deserve, police officers face unique dangers, being asked to put their lives in danger daily to protect our communities”.
How much will officers’ wages be increased?
In the announcement outlined by the Government, it was revealed that the Home Office had accepted the recommendations of the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRBR) in full, “reflecting the vital role police officers have on the frontline making our streets safer”.
All police officers will receive a £1,900 salary uplift which will apply to all ranks from 1 September 2022, which is the equivalent of a 5% overall pay award.
The pay increase will be targeted at those on the lowest pay points to provide them with an uplift of 8.8%, and between 0.6% and 1.8% for those on the highest pay points.
The Police Constable Degree Apprentice minimum starting salary will also be increased to £23,556 from 1 September.
Additionally, London Weighting and the Dog Handlers’ Allowance will also see an increase of 5%.
In the announcement, Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “I am pleased to be able to accept the pay review body recommendations in full so that all police officers see a £1,900 salary uplift.
“It is right that we recognise the extraordinary work of our officers who day in, day
out, work tirelessly to keep our streets, communities and country safe.”
What has the Police Federation said about the announcement?
National Chair Steve Hartshorn described the pay award from the Government as a “small first step” in fixing the relationship between ministers and police officers, with the pay increase helping to bridge the gap between household incomes and the current cost of living.
In a statement, Hartshorn said: “After our persistent appeals, the Government are finally starting to listen to the huge concerns we have over low police pay.
“Officers have already faced two years of a blanket pay freeze, a 20% real terms pay cut since 2010, and now huge additional cost-of-living pressures.
“The average 5% settlement announced today is still below inflation, and PFEW believes the Government still has a long way to go to demonstrate they’re treating officers with the dignity and respect they deserve, this is only a small first step forward in regaining their trust.
“It is disappointing that the pay increase is not good news for all officers, negatively affecting those in higher ranks.
“It’s in the Government’s direct interest to ensure that all police officers are paid properly and can pay their bills.
“If they don’t, retaining the high-quality officers our country needs - and this Government promised - will be doomed to fail.
“PFEW has and will continue to work for better work conditions for all our members.”
PFEW National Secretary Calum Macleod added that the pay rise was long overdue.
He said: “During and after the pandemic police officers across the country pulled in every resource to keep our communities safe though they were subjected to a pay freeze.
“The Government accepting all the recommendations of the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB), as PFEW has called for repeatedly, is a positive step in the right direction, however, PFEW will continue to fight for a fully independent review body that offers consistent and considered pay awards going forward.
“It is right that the findings of the PRRB are accepted in full, unimpeded by Government.
“The pay rise offered for 2022/23 is understandable in the current climate, though we were hoping that it would be in line with the current rate of inflation. We will continue to lobby the Government and campaign in every way we can to ensure the fair pay and wellbeing of police officers.
“We want all workers across the public sector to get the pay rise they deserve, but police officers face unique dangers, being asked to put their lives in danger daily to protect our communities, it’s important that this is reflected in an ongoing way.”