‘Today’s new recruits nearly £10,000 a year worse off’
Steve Treharne has repeated the Federation’s calls for a 17 per cent pay increase for police officers, pointing out how new starter pay has fallen by almost £10,000 since 2010.
The South Wales Police Federation chair tweeted a graphic setting out how pay for new starters had failed to keep up with inflation since the Conservatives have been in power at Westminster over the last 13 years.
New officers on the lower pay scale were getting £23,259 in 2010, compared to £23,556 today. Had starter pay kept pace with inflation, it would currently be £32,953 – this means a loss of £9,397 or £783 per calendar month, said Steve.
He explained: “Our demands for such a large pay increase for police officers will raise some eyebrows from the public, but anyone who looks at the context will see this is justified. New starters are today almost £10,000 worse off than 13 years ago. Or to put it another way, starting pay has risen by just £297 in 13 years!
“Police officers are treated far worse than other public sector colleagues. Why is this? I would say it is because we are not afforded industrial rights. Unlike nurses or teachers, who are also deserving cases, police officers cannot strike so it is a moral imperative that we be treated fairly by Government. This should mean an independent pay review body whose recommendations are binding.”
Steve’s comments on pay were echoed this week by Chief Constable BJ Harrington, of Essex Constabulary, who added his voice to calls for a pay increase in comments picked up by the national media.
He said: “My colleagues are proud – they are not the kind to complain but someone has to speak up for them and their families. You can’t Taser the gas bill and you can’t handcuff the family food shop at Lidl. And you can’t arrest rising mortgage bills.”
Essex Constabulary is continuing to lose experienced officers, said Mr Harrington, including a recently promoted sergeant who resigned soon after passing national investigation exams, and a policeman with a new baby on the way who quit to earn £250 a day as a scaffolder.
The Chief Constable also shared images from a foodbank in one of his stations, run by colleagues to ensure their fellow officers have something to eat, and pointed out that the police benevolent fund has handed out almost a quarter of a million pounds in the last two years.
“It breaks my heart that people who have put themselves in harm’s way to catch the worst criminals are having to rely on their mates so they can go home to a hot meal at the end of their shift,” said Mr Harrington.