Police plan protest march over move to cut wages by £4,000
Police rank and file are threatening a mass demonstration in the run-up to the royal wedding next month to protest against moves to cut the pay of tens of thousands of officers by up to £4,000 a year.
They reacted furiously to proposals for an overhaul of pay and conditions that will leave at least 40 per cent of the country's 143,000 officers worse off. The reform programme was set out in a government-commissioned review by former rail regulator Tom Winsor, who said police pay was based on an outdated formula from the 1970s.
He called for the complex bonuses, salary top-ups and "ludicrously generous" overtime payments to be replaced with more targeted payments to reward frontline posts and unsocial hours.
Mr Winsor's proposals look certain to be endorsed by Theresa May, the Home Secretary, as she searches for savings of more than £2bn in her departmental budget. Ministers are now braced for a gruelling battle with the police, who have successfully fought off two attempts by previous governments to reform their pay structure.
The Police Federation was last night planning its resistance to the moves which would trim £217m from the police pay bill over three years.
Although officers are banned from taking industrial action, the federation said it would do "everything possible" to protest, raising the prospect of a major rally in central London ahead of the royal wedding on 29 April. Paul McKeever, its chairman, said officers already faced a two-year pay freeze and higher pension contributions, adding: "We feel very upset and let down by the Government, which we thought would recognise the sacrifices we make."
Mr Winsor's review concluded that police were "comparatively well-paid", earning 10 to 15 per cent more than other emergency workers and up to 60 per cent higher than the average wage in some regions. He said moves to streamline their pay structure would leave some officers – notably those on the frontline and working anti-social hours – some £1,500 to £2,000 better off.
Mr Winsor concluded that the system, which was devised in 1978, needed to be reformed to recognise the "hardest jobs done in the most demanding circumstances". Not as many officers work at nights and at weekends as 33 years ago, while many others take on more specialised duties, he said.
He said about 40 per cent of officers – typically those in back office roles – would be out of pocket, losing between £3,000 and £4,000. But he said the reforms would mean officers would retain their statutory protection against being made compulsorily redundant.
Mr Winsor said: "People should be paid for what they do and how well they do it, and the service needs modern management tools to operate with the greatest efficiency and economy in a time of considerable national financial pressure and restraint."
Mrs May has already signalled that she backs fundamental reform of the police salary structure in order to minimise the impact on job losses.
Police chiefs have warned that 28,000 posts could go over the next four years – including 12,000 officers' jobs – as a result of the Government's austerity measures, while the Police Federation has put the figure at 40,000.
Yvette Cooper, the shadow Home Secretary, said: "The Government is cutting too far too fast and hitting the police budget hard. Ultimately it is local communities that will pay the price."
- 1 Avengers: Age of Ultron: Nearly 700 German cinemas refuse to show movie
- 2 Donald Trump decides that Baltimore riots are Barack Obama's fault
- 3 X Factor in crisis as numbers of people auditioning plummets
- 4 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
- 5 Baltimore riots: Furious mother marches her son home live on TV
Bali Nine executions live: Indonesian firing squad shoots dead eight drug offenders despite outcry around world, but a ninth is spared
Keith Harris dead: Orville the Duck ventriloquist dies aged 67 following battle with cancer
The four utterly contradictory polls that tell the story of this election and why it is pointless trying to predict the outcome
Donald Trump decides that Baltimore riots are Barack Obama's fault
General Election 2015: Prospect of Labour-SNP coalition makes one in four voters less likely to support Ed Miliband, says survey
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm of accountants based ...
£30000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a financial services c...
£30000 - £32000 per annum + car allowance and on call: Ashdown Group: A succes...
£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Well established small company ...