Met Federation's response to Police Arbitration Tribunal findings

Met Federation's response to Police Arbitration Tribunal findings

The Police Arbitration Tribunal (PAT) has today announced its recommendations into the proposals concerning police pay and conditions put forward in the Winsor review.

The Metropolitan Police Federation (MPF) will respond in detail as soon as the PAT recommendations have been analysed.

The PAT has accepted 10 of the Winsor proposals, modified five, and deferred three proposals back to Winsor, for potential inclusion in the Winsor part II review. It would appear that the results of PAT are fiscally driven as opposed to the balanced assessment of both sides’ arguments that was expected. The Tribunal estimates that its recommendations will achieve savings of £163m in the annual police pay budget. It must be borne in mind that this is merely part of the process to reform police pay, with further recommendations expected when the Winsor submits his second report, expected in February 2012.

The MPF are disappointed with many of the recommendations of the PAT. We have always understood that at a time of national financial crisis, savings have to be made. Police officers are already subject to a two-year pay freeze, followed by a two-year pay cap of one per cent, with inflation at five per cent.

This is a significant factor and likely to leave police officers nearly 20 per cent worse off at the end of this Parliament compared to when this Government was formed. In addition, police officers face substantial rises in pensions contributions (an increase of over 25 per cent) which will further erode take-home pay. Police officers are alone in the public sector in facing a pay review at the same time as these draconian cuts to their standard of living. As the only public sector workers who do not have the right to take any industrial action, we do not believe this to be co-incidental.

The PAT recommendations will lead to a further erosion in take-home pay of many officers. The abolition of Regulation 22 means that police forces will be able to force through shift patterns without the agreement of the Federation. The PAT expresses the belief this should not lead to abuse. Our experience, however, tells us otherwise and there is a real concern that officers’ ability to maintain any work/life balance will be drastically affected.

The PAT has recognised that Competency Related Threshold Payments (CRTP) on which officers have paid pension contributions are to be protected, at least in the short term, that shift workers will receive a premium payment for unsocial hours and that overtime will remain at time and a third rather than the plain time proposed by Winsor. Also, officers in the first three years of their service will continue to receive increment payments.

It remains to be seen what impact these recommendations will have on future police recruitment, retention and morale. The Conservative party, supposedly the party of law and order, runs the real risk of a smaller, demoralised police service, struggling to meet the needs of the public we all serve. What cannot be argued is that under this Government, no police officer has any chance of avoiding a substantial pay cut.