PSNI officers call for immediate pay action from Justice Minister Naomi Long

Justice Minister Naomi Long says she is working to resolve the issue as soon as possible. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Justice Minister Naomi Long says she is working to resolve the issue as soon as possible. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
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The Police Federation for Northern Ireland is calling on new Justice Minister Naomi Long to sign off on a pay rise for officers which they say is five months overdue.

The absence of ministers at Stormont for three years meant that decisions to sign off pay rises in that period had been taken by the Department of Justice permanent secretary.

However a legal challenge in relation to civil servants taking key decisions without ministers meant that both raises were significantly delayed.

Previously the Police Federation for Northern Ireland (PFNI) said its members were victims of “political paralysis” with former PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton also expressing unhappiness.

The PFNI said the Independent Pay Review Body recommended a 2.5% increase for PSNI officers in June and that this been paid to police in England and Wales since September.

However the absence of a Stormont Justice Minister has once again led to months of delay, the third consecutive year that PSNI pay rises have not been implemented on time.

PFNI Chair Mark Lindsay said: “I have written to the minister, Naomi Long, asking her to get this matter resolved without delay. In fact, we are about to enter discussions on a new pay round for 20/21 while 19/20 remains outstanding and that is unacceptable.

“This situation can be remedied at a stroke of the pen and I would ask the new minister to show that the restoration of devolved institutions actually counts for something with prompt and decisive action.

“We have congratulated Ms Long on her appointment and are looking forward to a productive engagement across a wide range of policing matters including PSNI resources, recruitment, legacy, the function of the Police Ombudsman’s office and criminal justice issues that impact on our officers.”

Justice Minister Naomi Long responded that her department is working to conclude the 2019/20 PSNI pay award as soon as possible.