The Police Federation for Northern Ireland has lodged a claim with the Pay Review Body for a top-line increase of 5.4%. The pay submission is described as ‘fair, reasonable and balanced based on economic evidence’ by PFNI Chairperson, Mark Lindsay.
The 5.4% claim takes into account the failure to implement last year’s recommendations by the independent pay body. The remaining 3.4% is in line with Treasury’s Retail Price Index (RPI) forecast.
The federation makes 14 recommendations which include four specific pay options.
It says last year PSNI officers received no pay increase, unlike their colleagues in England and Wales, who were awarded a 1% consolidated and 1% non-consolidated pay rise.
Other elements of the claim include increases in the on-call allowance; the Northern Ireland Transitional Allowance (NITA); the Dog Handlers’ Allowance and the Competence Related Threshold Payment (CRTP).
Commenting on the overall submission, Mr Lindsay said: “All we seek is a fair, reasonable and balanced increase to reflect the demanding job our members do, day and daily.
“The failure to get last year’s increase has left a bad taste in our mouths, and we will continue to convey the very strong sense of disadvantage that Officers feel. We have submitted an 82-page evidence-based submission to the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) even though we have significant concerns around elements of the process.
“In particular, the failure to implement last year’s pay agreement is unacceptable and should not be permitted to continue. Without a remedy, the process is in real danger of losing all credibility.
“Police Officers in Northern Ireland deserve to be treated on an equitable basis with colleagues in England and Wales. Expecting to pay 1% out of Chief Constable reserves, which don’t exist, is the sticking point. Unlike his counterparts in England and Wales, our Chief Constable is not empowered to carry forward any efficiency savings into the next financial year, which means he has no ‘reserves’.
“Therefore, our Officers lose out, and we have made strenuous efforts to sort out this mess. It leaves PSNI officers as the only ones in the United Kingdom not to have had a pay increase and that places an added financial burden on Officers.
“We are not looking for anything exceptional or over the odds. There has to be a realisation that our people deserve better. We have been patient over the failure locally to implement the deal that was struck, and what we now want to see is a determination to fix all outstanding issues.”
The next stage in the pay discussions is the delivery of oral evidence in April with a conclusion in June and implementation in September.