John Apter chairman of The Police Federation for England and Wales has praised the SNP’s decision to give officers north of the border a 6.5% pay rise. At the same time he has accused the Westminster Government of showing “contempt” to police officers in England and Wales.
Mr Apter was talking after The Scottish Police Authority announced a pay rise package of 6.5%. The deal which has been backdated to 1st September will run until 31st March 2021.
A Constable who has completed their probation can expect their pay to rise by £2,000 this year and a staggering £6,000 over the next three years.
Mr Apter went on to attack Theresa May’s government for their lack of respect for his officers saying;
“While this is positive news in Scotland, it is hard to stomach for their colleagues in England and Wales.
“The Scottish Government has shown its support for policing. It has delivered more than warm words. Officers here are sick of pleasantries from politicians which in reality they mean nothing. For a government to show such contempt for those who put their lives on the line for the public is shameful.”
“Austerity is over”
Yesterday Theresa May proclaimed to the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham that “austerity is over.” This is a claim I find hard to believe considering her own government offered a substandard pay rise to Police south of the border.
The Independent Police Remuneration Review Body who advise the government on police salaries in England and Wales earlier this year recommended that police officers be given a 3% pay rise.
Despite this, Home Secretary Sajid Javid decided that they would only get 2%. This is the second year in a row that the Tories decided to offer a lower rise than was recommended.
This led to an unusual intervention by the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick. She blasted The Home Secretary’s decision telling the Police Superintendents’ Association annual conference
“It’s wrong in principle because it leaves the Pay Remuneration Body process in tatters and undermines the careful balance that protects officers’ rights. It flies in the face of evidence and rational argument.”
It has emerged today that the Police Federation in England and Wales are mounting a legal challenge against The Home Office over their failure to implement the recommended pay rise.
Responding to this news, Labour’s Shadow Policing Minister Louise Haigh MP issued a press release.
“The Home Secretary’s below inflation pay offer was an insult to police officers nationwide and the failure to respect the independent pay body made a mockery of the process.
“Theresa may promised an end to austerity in her speech to Tory conference but a below inflation pay offer is not ending austerity for the police.”
Rank and file officers will feel duped by a Home Secretary whose actions have not lived up to his words. It’s time he showed some respect and gave police officers the pay rise they richly deserve.”
I contacted the Home Office for comment on the Police Federation’s legal challenge but they had not responded by the time the article was published.
Scottish Government sets another example on Public Sector pay
Of course this isn’t the first time that the Scottish Government has shown that they value public sector workers. In August it was announced that NHS staff in Scotland would benefit from a substantial three year pay rise.
The comprehensive deal was the result unions negotiating with Holyrood for the first time. They had become tired of the UK wide pay body recommending a meager 1% a year rise.
The new deal covers all NHS staff and NHS contractors that are not Doctors. They have their own contract that is negotiated separately.
- All NHS Scotland staff earning under £80,000 received a 3% pay rise backdated to April 1, 2018, with a payment of £1600 for staff earning more than £80,000
- All pay scales to rise by 9% over the lifetime of the three-year deal (including 2018) or £1600 per annum for scales above £80,000
- Larger increments and faster progression for staff in post, but not yet at the top of their pay band – worth between 11.3% and 27.7%
- Removal of band overlaps to ensure promotion comes with a proper pay rise.
Compare this to England were NHS staff were given a three year pay deal worth 6.5% it shows that Scotland are once again leading the way in showing respect for our invaluable healthcare staff.
Next up for renewal in Scotland are the GP and Consultant contracts and I don’t envisage the chaos that occurred in England and Wales when Jeremy Hunt tried to enforce a contract on staff there.
The SNP love them or hate them have now consistently shown that they will listen to the views of staff and unions and offer more than generous packages to help counter Tory austerity.