What Is Happening With Our Pay and Pensions?
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For pensions the key dates to be aware of are by 11th October 2010 the interim Hutton report on public sector pensions will be published. The final report is due in April 2011 in time for the budget.
In relation to pay and conditions of service we have fed back to those who negotiate nationally on behalf of the membership all the comments we have received from you the members. These were very well though out and we were overwhelmed with the response.
A sample of the comments we received include:
- Any proposals to cut our pay and or worsen our conditions of service should of course be fought against please on our collective behalf. Any further worsening of such pay/conditions will eventually push the "service" even further away from what I joined towards being "just another job".
- I would strongly support a ballot regarding the return of the right to strike as that appears to be the only means available to fight inappropriate changes (not that I would ever intend or want to take strike action - although I would more than certainly be prepared to "work to rule" if necessary - which would surely be enough in our position to wake someone in authority up before strike action became necessary as a last resort).
- Some three years ago I took a pay cut of some £4000 a year in overtime, SPP, and Bank Holiday pay to join a specialised department. Any further attack on my conditions and salary will undoubtedly force me to leave this role that I enjoy and that the force has spent thousands training me on to return to mainstream uniform policing. If forces don't need professional specialised units then that is fine. If these units are required then the officers that staff them, who are highly trained to national standards and above should be rewarded and not penalised for the extra responsibility that they carry and the extra duties that they perform.
- As a supervisor, I have already experienced the impact of the 'no overtime' rule. I have come on duty and instructed officers to go home at the end of their shift as payment is not an option. This has resulted in bare bones handovers being left. This has increased the workload for the oncoming shift who have to pick this up. It has also reduced the quality of the investigation as there is no continuity during the investigation as it gets passed from officer to officer. Officers will not work for nothing and goodwill is already taking a hit. I seem to remember working time regulations and a 40hrs week.
- It will probably be a surprise to ACPO ranking officers but I do actually have a life outside of the Police, and as such I do want a work life balance. I am concerned that a "Flexible Framework" for employing and rewarding officers will result in the Police taking more control and giving less.
- Chief Officers have forgotten what it is like to work shifts and have no idea what the demands are at our level anymore. There has to be suitable recompense (in the way of time off) between tours of duty and on our days off. Officers are worn out, they hardly ever take a meal break, certainly not the full time allowed and they come to work and often will not stop for the full 8, 9 or 10 hrs (particularly in the busier areas) - by the time it gets to their days off they are worn out and they need enough time to recover before they are back again to do it all over again. Although a lot is said about the 4 days off everyone seems to forget that most of us go onto that from a night shift, so your first day is virtually written off. A small minority might be able to stay up all day or just take a couple of hours sleep but most will have to sleep until at least lunch time and if your travelling that will probably only be 3-4 hrs - you feel jet lagged and certainly for me and many others the day after is even worse - you feel exhausted and your body is just knackered. The 3rd day you start to feel better so if your lucky and having the 4 days and don't have to go back for a training day then you get 2 days off where you feel like a human being - then you go back to work and do it all again. If you have a training day you only have 1 day feeling like a human being on a rest day. And, the medical evidence that shift work, particularly night shifts get much harder the older you get - sleeping is a problem and your body just can't cope with it - but most of us have no option but to continue working, no matter how crap we feel.
- SPP has always been divisive; I would tend to agree with abolition in its current form. Wasn't the money introduced as part of a pay deal, any abolition would represent a direct reduction in pay that goes beyond a pay freeze, the savings should remain within the pay budget.
- A rest day should be a day off to rest. Rest includes anything which isn't work so includes hobbies, pastimes, family events etc there has to be a significant financial penalty to prevent interference with rest days. We know that the organisation can, if required, cancel our days off and leave, if we start to lose the distinction between our time and theirs we will start to lose our private lives. Police officers should also be able to claim any out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of shift changes which occur after an officer has made plans, if an officer has to wait until 5 days before a rest day to book anything then very few will be able to enjoy their time off. If I book tickets to a football match, theatre, book a hotel for a birthday or anniversary which falls on a rest day there needs to be something in place to ensure that this is not interfered with in anything but the most serious circumstances.
- The shift element of our pay (whatever that is!) should only be paid to those who actually work the shifts. When someone voluntarily moves into a role where they don't work shifts they should lose that element of the pay.
- Very few people appear to be motivated at present, I have never been so unhappy at work as I am now and I know that others are the same.
- It seems to be difficult enough for supervisors to supervise now. APS's with little experience who have not proven themselves to be capable should not be acting and they are. Sgts have enough responsibility especially when they have to act as Pc's due to lack of staffing. I agree that the level of expertise should be to safeguard risks and that supervisors should be accountable. I cannot count how many reports I have submitted where officers have failed to investigate crime thoroughly, this has been passed to Sgt and Insp and no action has been taken. The situation is repeated with the same officers and this includes those in their probation who should not have got through in my opinion, whose major faults were highlighted time and time again and who were not even action planned. The UPP is there, it is just not used. Certain individuals should not have the rank and are never challenged. I don't agree however that we should move away from the rank structure, but that those who have the rank are equipped and motivated to carry out that role.
- all of the measures suggested would either have a detrimental effect on my pay or would mean my home life would suffer.. In short I will lose money if CRIPS, SPP, bank holiday pay, overtime, etc are amended as proposed. My home life would also suffer as I would have rest days cancelled at short notice and also no doubt end up working primarily late shifts if the force are able to adopt any shift rota they please. These measures would affect the time I could spend at home with my family on an evening.
- I do agree that a shift allowance should only be paid to those officers working shifts however if this was adopted the organisation would lose flexibility as those officers not being paid to work shifts would not work a night shift if they were not getting paid for it. To summarise all of the measures are an erosion of my conditions. I would not be in favour of this unless I was financially compensated for this - in today’s climate I think this is unlikely.
- I am a Dedicated SNT officer and enjoy and am committed to my job, if I wasn't I would have applied for the post of SNP (Response) and would have gained more rest days. However if pay was structured on shifts then I assume that officers who don't work a full shift pattern like myself (not my choice) would receive a decrease in pay to balance out the increase that officers working core shifts would get. This I believe would lead to the majority of officers leaving posts in departments such as SNT/CID/NST etc to SNP posts. ACPO keep telling officers that our work/life balance is a priority for them, their proposals highlight that this is a fallacy and that ACPO are only concerned about protecting their empire. Their proposals will create a multi tier police force and a atmosphere of mistrust, deceit and envy.
It is slightly disconcerting to note that the details of the person who is to lead on the independent review of our pay and conditions has not yet been announced, even though the review was announced by the Home Secretary in May 2010 and is still scheduled to report in January 2011.