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billysboots

When is a pay rise not a pay rise?

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I recall several years ago the then Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, refusing to backdate a police pay award to the beginning of September. For years we'd been used to a 3% increase. Some said we'd become complacent.

And then along comes Jacqui Smith. The pay deal, for the first time during my service, was not agreed until late autumn. And she refused to backdate it. I have never been so angry. In fact I was incandescent - how could a sitting Government kick their police service in the teeth in this way? 

Wind the clock forwards several years and I now feel exactly the same. The news first broke a few days ago that, at long last, HMG were going to ease austerity, take the advice of pay review bodies, and start to lift the pay cap.

What do we get? More of the same. Amid media reports of the pay cap being lifted for cops, we get another 1% increase, and a one off non-pensionable bonus. The latter has to come from existing police budgets.

Let's be clear here. A bonus is not a pay rise, regardless of how it's dressed up, and yet we have Steve White from the PFEW saying it's a step in the right direction. Like Hell it is. It's another cynical kick in the teeth and the press, media and hence the public are falling for it hook, line and sinker.

Three years and counting. Can't bloody wait.

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Lets contrast our pay situation with an MP's pay.  They received an 11% pay rise three years ago after agreeing to reduce some of their expenses.  They also agreed to link their future pay rises to the average rise in public sector pay.  So far so good, however once their pay grew by 11% it also boosted their pensions as the expenses they had originally received would not have affected their pay and therefore wouldn't benefit their pensions.  IIRC tax payers had to pay a few million £ into their pension pot in order to help keep it fully funded.  Secondly linking their pay to public sector rises also mean that it would be affected by increments and changes to the national minimum wage.  There is two problems with that.  First Tories hate increments as they don't see why pay increases should be linked to time in a job, but they now seem happy to benefit from that system in terms of their own pay rises.  Secondly a lot of public sector workers earn the NMW such as cooks, cleaners, drivers etc, so whenever the NMW goes up and remember the government has boosted that so that it has kept pace with inflation whilst the rest of public sector wages have been capped,  MPs will benefit.  That is why they have received a 1.5% and 1.4% pay rise since the 11% rise whilst the headline rate for police, teachers, nurses etc has been capped at 1%. 

MPs pay rises automatically yet ours is assessed by a so called independent pay remuneration board which seems to have recommended 2.8% this year yet the government has only awarded us 1% with the other 1% coming from further savings or force reserves.  MP's pay awards are met in full by the tax payers and their pay and working conditions seems to defy reform, but when it comes to other people's pay they connive to minimise rises or to force reforms onto us which they seem immune to.

What has happened to House of Commons and HoL reform?  Nothing that's what.  MP's numbers were supposed to be cut in the 2020 election but May has effectively delayed that by holding the early election before the Boundary commission had put its ideas out for consultation, whilst there have been stories in the papers that the cuts won't be introduced as they will affect the number of Tory constituencies which the Tories and their lack of overall parliamentary majority can't accept.  HoL numbers defy cuts as well with the Lords growing in number almost every year, defying both common sense and reform.  I think that I'm also right in saying that the number of politicians in the UK has grown massively since 1997 with devolution and directly elected mayors and PCCs etc.  At the same time teaching has been reformed and we have gone through Winsor 1 and 2, yet our pay masters are beyond reform and and have set up a nice little pay accumulator which means they benefit no matter what happens in the wider economy.

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Just witnessed Mrs May in full flow on PMQ's. She stated that since 2010 a new police officer has actually seen a 32% increase in their pay, and that she accepted the findings of the Pay Review Board. I'm still not sure I heard it right, I was a little gob smacked. You have to admire the sheer front of the woman.

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She's right you know,
'A Downing Street source said that a typical police officer joining the force on a £23,259 salary in 2010 would have taken home £17,972 after deductions for tax and national insurance. After seven years' service, the same officer would have a salary of at least £35,478. This would give a take-home pay of £27,405 after tax and NI contributions - an increase of £9,433, equivalent to 32% more than required to keep up with inflation.'
So the 4% of officers who joined in 2010 would have had such a rise, if they all remained employed as officers.
By the similar calculations an MP's salary has increased by 127% over the same period if you compare the salary of an MP in April 2010 to their salary now if they had become PM.


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10 hours ago, Reasonable Man said:

So the 4% of officers who joined in 2010 would have had such a rise, if they all remained employed as officers.

And if they had met the required performance and attendance requirements for those increments?

So her facts are based on a very small proportion of officers? 

 

 

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May must have taken lessons from the DM and taken one small aspect of police pay and focused all her attention on it.  Its a shame then that she didn't mention that the 1% bonus doesn't apply to unsocial hours payments or overtime and that it is going to be paid for from reserves or budget cuts.  The much vaunted protected budget for my force means that our budget is falling year on year even before the effects of 2.8% inflation are taken into account. 

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32% is pretty impressive

I reckon my take home pay has gone up 14%, over that time, after accounting for inflation. 

Thats a combination of cost of living rises (when paid!), increments and a promotion. 

Not bad, but it doesn't help the person that takes my old role - they will be worse off, compared to me when I was on that pay scale point. That might impact on recruitment and retention. 

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Good call from the NHS unions - they're asking for a 3.9% raise and £800 to make up for 7 years of cuts. 

Wonder if the government will give them what they want or let them go on strike. 

I suspect they'll give them 1% and maybe a one off bonus too and say that they're open for discussion on next year's pay deal. 

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