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Fed reps to discuss action over pay snub


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Branch chairman says government has treated police officers with 'utter contempt'.

West Yorkshire Police Federation chairman Nick Smart

West Yorkshire Police Federation chairman Nick Smart


The Police Federation could mount a legal challenge to the government over the pay review process after the independent body’s recommendations were ignored for a second year in a row.

Last week the Home Office announced a two per cent pay rise for all officers, after the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) recommended three per cent.

A meeting on how the staff association should respond will be held in the near future, Police Oracle understands.

Other options could include ending cooperation with the process, with measures from calling for industrial rights to stricter personal adherence to existing regulations.

West Yorkshire Police Federation chairman Nick Smart said: “The government have abused the process and treated us with utter contempt. This year in particular it has now come to the point where people are saying enough is enough - it lacks integrity, it’s unethical.

“We put a really thorough and well-evidenced package to the PRRB. They recognised that, but they've been ignored by the government. The PRRB must wonder why they are even there.”

He added: “We need to see if we’ve got the option of a judicial review and if so, I would wholeheartedly support that route.”

Mr Smart added that if that isn’t possible the staff association needs to look at withdrawing from the process altogether as a demonstration of their lack of faith in it.

“We’ve gone from a position of negotiating to one of submitting evidence and then being ignored. The troops on the ground are absolutely sick and tired of the disrespect shown to police officers,” he said.

National vice chairman Che Donald said he believes there are several options people may suggest. 

But he added: "This is not the time for soundbites or strongly worded letters, it is a time for action."

A statement from the Home Office on the pay announcement said the pay decision was made “to strike a balance between overall affordability to forces and fairness to the taxpayer, recognising the importance of continuing to reduce debt as a share of the economy whilst investing in vital public services”.

Chief Constable Francis Habgood, representing the NPCC, said after the pay announcement last week that his colleagues are "concerned that not following [the PRRB] recommendations undermines confidence in the process".

At the staff association’s annual conference in May both the Home Secretary and Police Minister declined to commit to automatically implementing the recommendations of the review body.

Sir Tom Winsor, designer of the process, said at the event: “The PRRB is independent but I don’t know of any pay review body, [the] armed forces or any other, where ministers automatically accept that whatever they come up with will be automatically implemented.

"It just doesn’t work that way it never does.”

The Scottish Government announced in 2015 it will abide by the Police Negotiating Board for Scotland’s arbitration on pay issues.

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