Home Secretary approves police pay deal


A police pay deal that will save about £150 million a year was approved by the Home Secretary today.

Theresa May said there would be no reduction in basic pay and any extra payments would be focused on specialist staff and frontline officers.

But she admitted that some officers would be disappointed by the move.

Mrs May has clashed with officers since Tom Winsor's review recommended the biggest reform of police pay in 30 years.

Mr Winsor said more than £1 billion of savings should be made, with most of this being redistributed from officers with comfortable back office jobs to those on the front line.

Officers were "comparatively well paid", earning 10% to 15% higher than some other emergency workers and up to 60% higher than the average local earnings in regions such as Wales and the North East, he said.

The review's proposals would leave at least 40% of officers worse off, with the biggest losers having their take-home pay slashed by up to £4,000 a year.

But negotiators were sent to the Police Arbitration Tribunal (Pat) after failing to agree a deal.

The tribunal accepted most of the Winsor proposals, but changed several others.

It said competence-related threshold payments - often described by critics as "grab a grand" - should remain in place for those who already receive them.

And it also proposed that a premium rate of time and a third should be kept for casual overtime, a new £50 per night allowance for officers forced to stay away from home overnight while helping other forces should be brought in and that progression up the first three steps on the constables' pay scale should be excluded from the proposed suspension on police officers' pay scale.

All of the tribunal's proposals were accepted by the Home Secretary today.

In a speech on police reform in central London, Mrs May said: "After a thorough and considered review, Winsor provided us with the outline of what a modern police pay structure could look like.

"He produced a package that is fair to the police and that is fair to the taxpaying public - a package that can produce savings and improve incentives, that recognises and rewards specialist skills and frontline service, not just time served."

She went on: "The Winsor report has been considered by the independent Police Arbitration Tribunal, and I can announce today that I am accepting all of the tribunal's recommendations in full.

"I know that some police officers will be disappointed by this outcome.

"But I want to stress that there will be no reduction in basic pay.

"Extra payments will be targeted at frontline staff and those doing the most demanding work.

"And the total savings will represent less than 2% of the total police pay bill."

Mrs May added: "Policing will remain a well-paid job.

"And the fact remains that, if we hadn't taken this tough decision, we would have had to cut police budgets more deeply and there would have had to be more police job cuts.

"That is something that neither the police nor the public wants.

"Once the Pat's recommendations have been fully implemented, they will save around £150 million per year."

The Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file officers in England and Wales, said the deal will mean "serious financial hardship for police officers".

Paul McKeever, its chairman, said: "Let's not forget, this Government is unduly targeting police officers.

"In addition to what amounts to a four-year public sector pay freeze and increased pension contributions, police officers are having to contend with a range of changes to terms and conditions; the result of which is effectively a pay cut."

He went on: "The imposition of the pension increase is disappointing.

"Police officers not only have no industrial rights; on the issues of pensions they have no right to negotiate.

"Moreover, through constructive consultation, the police service is one of the few public services to have actually agreed a reform of their pension which has delivered a sizeable cost reduction."

Chief Constable Peter Fahy, the lead on workforce development for the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), said the decisions "strike a balance between the need to achieve savings given the national economic situation and the financial pressures facing individual police officers".

"The two-year pay freeze combined with a two-year increment freeze, the removal of various bonus payments and the increase in pension contributions will have a significant impact on many staff," he said.

"It is right that those working unsocial hours should receive an additional payment.

"Over time Acpo would like to see a greater emphasis on recognising the considerable expertise of our staff in the pay system and a lesser importance on time served."

Derek Barnett, president of the Police Superintendents' Association of England and Wales, added that the deal "will draw a line under what has been a protracted and difficult period for police officers".

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said: "The Home Secretary is still ducking the main issue, which is the 16,000 police officers being cut and the 20% budget cut as a result of her decisions.

"At a time when personal crime has gone up by 11%, the Home Secretary is out of touch with the problems communities face."

She admitted that Labour had said the Home Secretary should accept the deal, but accused Mrs May of leaving police morale "at an all-time low".


Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Keith Fraser says we should give Isis sympathises free flights to join Isis (AFP)
Life and Style
Google celebrates the 126th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower opening its doors to the public for the first time
techGoogle celebrates Paris's iconic landmark, which opened to the public 126 years ago today
Cleopatra the tortoise suffers from a painful disease that causes her shell to disintegrate; her new prosthetic one has been custom-made for her using 3D printing technology
newsCleopatra had been suffering from 'pyramiding'
Arts and Entertainment
Coachella and Lollapalooza festivals have both listed the selfie stick devices as “prohibited items”
Nigel Owens was targeted on Twitter because of his sexuality during the Six Nations finale between England and France earlier this month
rugbyReferee Nigel Owens on coming out, and homophobic Twitter abuse
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Web Designer / Front End Developer

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast expanding web managem...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor