Opinion Former Article

PSAEW: Fair pay for police

Police protest march 23rd January, 2008

Senior officers today underlined their commitment to support colleagues on the march through London in protest at the police pay deal.

National Office holders from the Superintendents' Association will take part in the march and rally in central London on Wednesday in a bid to force Home Secretary Jacqui Smith into a u-turn over her decision not to honour the Police Arbitration Tribunal's award of 2.5 per cent with effect from 1st September, 2007.

National Secretary, Chief Superintendent Patrick Stayt, said: 'We are proud to be joining colleagues from all ranks at this protest event. It is a shame it ever came to this but the Home Secretary needs to know just how much anger there is out there at the unfairness with which she is treating us.

'This is a Service-wide protest which shows just how this unnecessary dispute has galvanised support throughout the ranks, from Chief Officers down. That is because our anger is not over money but rather a principle. We went through last year's pay talks in good faith and were bound by the findings of the independent Tribunal when a resolution could not be reached through routine channels.

'The fact that the Association of Police Authorities, who are the employers of police officers, want to pay the award in full, and have the finances to do so, further adds to the legitimacy of officers' sense of grievance.

'We feel badly let down that having gone through that entire process, the Home Secretary clearly had no intention of honouring the ruling and had decided she wanted to take on the Service and use us to set an example to other public sector workers.

'Unfortunately for her, she picked the wrong group of people - a group with unique employment status as we are banned from taking any kind of strike action. We can only express frustration and anger in peaceful, dignified protest which is what we will be doing on Wednesday.

'We have been invited to meet the Home Secretary on the day of action and we will be pleased to do so, to tell her she has seriously underestimated the strength of feeling, that we have lost confidence in the ability of her and her advisors on matters of police pay, but that it is not too late to implement the deal in full, even at this late stage.

'We are boosted by the fact the Conservatives have now agreed that the principle whereby a Home Secretary is not bound by a PAT award is wrong.

'Our members have lost faith and trust in the Home Secretary over this matter and yet now we are being asked to enter negotiations for a three year deal before the current dispute is resolved. Our current arrangements have stood us in good stead recognising our unique status for 28 years so if we are going to break that system, we will not be rushed into any new mechanism without fully exploring all benefits and potential pitfalls.

'Association members have made it abundantly clear they would not seek the right to strike but they do seek safeguards in any new pay arrangements which recognise their inability to seek redress in industrial action of any form.

'In the meantime, our members will be joining thousands of colleagues in an unprecedented show of anger on the capital's streets.'

ENDS

Notes to editors: On the day of the march, January 23rd, National Officers will be available for media interviews.

Please contact Sarah Gibbons, the Association's Communication Manager, on 07989 855961 to arrange interviews.

National Secretary, Chief Superintendent Patrick Stayt, will be on 07977 439628

National President, Chief Superintendent Ian Johnston, will be on 07968 473703

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