‘Palpable anger’ among police officers over pay

There is “palpable anger” among police ranks at news of an effectively zero pay increase this year, the representative body for officers has said.

The Police Federation for Northern Ireland (PFNI) said the latest decision means that officers have now seen their salary levels eroded by more than 20% over the last 10 years.

PFNI chairman Mark Lindsay described the move as disrespectful, particularly coming after tireless work during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The pay process has left thousands of police officers trailing badly behind,” he said.

PSNI officers are pushing for better pay.

“At a time when inflation is rampant, this news from the Justice Minister means, in effect, a pay cut right now at the exact same rate as inflation, which is currently running at 7.4%.

“Officers are justifiably angry and feel let down. They have worked tirelessly at the sharp end during the Covid pandemic and it’s only through their efforts that the terrorist threat level has been reduced.

“To treat our men and women in this manner is disrespectful and has failed to recognise any of the hard work and risks they have taken over the past year on a daily basis.

“The decline in real terms in police pay is causing serious challenges for police families where difficult financial choices are having to be made.

“Officers are consistently asked to do more to safeguard our community and support other failing public services. Do more, and take more risks, but get paid less is not a sensible route for the Government or this devolved administration.

“Officers are leaving in greater numbers for less stressful and more rewarding occupations. Occupations where they are not assaulted and castigated on a daily basis. We will continue to lose experienced people which, in turn, will leave worrying gaps in the service that is provided.”

Heading into an election and it is “a matter of deep regret” that pay is not a key priority for parties, he added.

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