Pay and Conditions of Service

Unlike on pensions, where there is a united voice, it appears ACPO take a different view to the issue of pay and conditions of service.

In her speech to the Police Federation of England and Wales Annual Conference on 19 May 2010, the Home Secretary announced that, as part of the Coalition Agreement, there would be "a full review of the remuneration and conditions of service for police officers and staff."

The Home Office Structural Reform plan describes the review as beginning in July 2010 and being concluded by January 2011, but to date there has been no announcement on the chair or the terms of reference.

We would ask you to check your force email accounts and if you haven’t already done so please give us your views on the contents of an ACPO document which they seek to inform the government on policing in the future.

We consider that the proposals within the document are a shameful attempt to kick a body of dedicated, hard working, men and women who do not have full industrial rights.

As the Edmund-Davies Committee noted, together with the armed forces and the judiciary, police officers occupy a "unique role in our society and are essential to its continuation". This unique role is reflected in the "unique restrictions and limitations" to which police officers are subjected.

Police officers are not employees. Each sworn constable is an independent legal official rather than simply an agent of the police. The office of constable means a police officer has legal powers of arrest and control of the public given to him or her directly by a sworn oath and warrant: they have not been delegated these powers simply because they have been appointed as an officer.

The lack of full industrial rights is fine, if we are to be treated – as we always have been, in a manner that recognises the unique status of the office of constable. However we are greatly concerned that now the attack is coming from senor officers who have benefitted throughout their service from all the things they now want to remove from you.

And this at a time when according to the results of an online survey in Police Review (13th August 2010) 86% of police officers would consider leaving the police service if they had to work for longer before drawing a pension.

We in the Police Federation, and the views we have received this far from the membership, consider this attack on Police Regulations to be no more than a desire to reduce the pay received by officers disguised as a proposal to increase flexibility. What has not been made clear is that if all these proposals went through some rank and file officers would be looking at a 20% pay cut.

Let's make it clear – for a sergeant that is a reduction in salary of around £8000.00 per year. For a constable it is around £6000.00. On top of that there are proposals to freeze the constables maximum pay level to the 7 year point and also the reductions in overtime. And this at a time when inflation is to be over the government target until at least the end of 2011 and with VAT due to increase in the New Year.

We would therefore invite you to take part in our web poll which is running till 30th September 2010 on whether you would be adversely affected by these proposals.

This is a massive issue for you the membership. It is easy for an organisation like ACPO to make such suggestions when a number of its members earn more than the Prime Minister but you our members do not. Click on this link for more details:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/7885389/More-than-30-police-officers-paid-more-than-Prime-Minister.html

What many of you will be aware of is that ACPO has received considerable criticism in recent years for being an unaccountable organisation, making millions each year from its position as a limited company at the top of the Police Service. The document does nothing to dispel that notion. In fact it appears to seek to consolidate that position, building on its members' failure to manage effectively within the law by making them unaccountable under a range of legislation from health and safety to equality; ensuring that they remain outside the scrutiny required of public sector bodies; and seeks to remove the negotiating machinery and replace it with a charter to hire, fire and pay officers with no regard to proper employment management practices.

Very strong words we know, but you – the membership need to be fully appraised of what is happening. That is why we sent out emails to you giving details of the ACPO document on 6th and 10th August.

All the emails we receive from you are being collated and forwarded to the Police Federation head office for collation so that they can respond at a national level.

They will inform the Police Federation response to the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill which will be introduced to Parliament in the autumn. The deadline for to our national office from us is 27th August 2010 so please ensure we have your feedback by then and to preserve what we all hold dear – why not exercise your democratic right to visit your local MP in one of their constituency surgeries and let them know your views.

In next month's e-newsletter we will put together a summary of all the responses we have received from you - the members so that you can see the feeling across the force and between now and 31st October 2010 we will be holding a series of mini open meetings across the force so that officers know exactly what is being put forward by ACPO.

In addition to this we have sent the following for individual from the Deputy Chief Constable, the Assistant Chief Constables, Police Authority Chair and Chief Executive and also the chair of the North Yorkshire Branch of the Superintendents’ Association:

Dear

I write on behalf of your rank and file officers, whom I represent, regarding ACPO’s recent paper on the future of policing and specifically our grave concerns over some of the recommendations within it designed to deal with the government’s planned financial cuts.

The fact that this extremely contentious document was leaked to the public domain has caused a great deal of distress and anger amongst police officers throughout England and Wales. Whilst much within the paper is to be commended, it does also contain recommendations that we strongly oppose, not least issues involving Police Regulations and Determinations and the replacement of the Police Negotiating Board.

Whilst ACPO and the Federation may not always agree, we should be able to discuss things in an open and transparent manner. For ACPO to have produced 49 recommendations, many of which would have a serious adverse impact on our members, without informing us, indicates an unwillingness to do business in a meaningful way.

I understand that this document was presented to the Chief Constables' Cabinet on 16 July. I am also aware that the document will be discussed by all Chief Officers at an ACPO meeting later this month. However, my intention with this email is to gauge where you stand with this document and its proposals and to ascertain whether you support the position within?

In particular, has full consideration been given to the subsequent repercussions of the following recommendations?

- the development of a more flexible framework for employing and rewarding police officers” (Recommendation 23)
- an urgent review of the Unsatisfactory Performance Procedures (Recommendation 24)
- a complete overhaul of the flexible reward mechanisms that are currently in place, including SPP (Recommendation 25)
- the replacement of the Police Negotiating Board with a Pay Review Body (Recommendation 26)
- a review of the rank structure and ratios (Recommendation 27)
- a clearer national framework for police staff (Recommendation 28)
- a national review of police staff role profiles and the extension of the role of PCSOs without increasing their powers (Recommendation 29)

I am sure that you would want to reassure your officers that this document does not reflect the view of all chief officers and that ACPO are not seeking to reduce their officers’ conditions of service. I’d like to reiterate our belief that it is imperative that all policing bodies work together to ensure the best possible future for policing in England and Wales, especially at this time of great uncertainty and constraint.

On a local level, I would like to ascertain whether or not you are in support of the proposals within the paper, most notably the ones highlighted above.

We await their individual responses.

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