Labour Research April 2002


Police pay in conciliation

Conciliation got underway last month after members of the Police Federation voted heavily against a proposed "reform" package that would have cut premium payments in return for higher pay.

The ballot on the proposals, which took place in February and was the first in the Federation's 82-year history, resulted in a 91% rejection of the Home Office package on a turnout of 72%. Members of the Scottish Police Federation were equally firm in their rejection of the package.

The strength of opposition was confirmed when thousands of officers attended a protest march in London last month.

Federation members were given the opportunity to explain their vote (on the back of each ballot paper), and 63% of those rejecting the offer gave the reduction in premium rates as their first, second or third reason. Thirty four percent expressed a "lack of trust" that the package would be implemented.

Following the rejection, a conciliation process began, headed by Jon Clark who is the independent chair of the Police Negotiating Board (PNB). The proceedings are said to have been "constructive" and a third meeting is scheduled for 2 April.

* In its first report, the newly formed Prison Service Pay Review Body recommended a pay rise of 6%. The government accepted the figure but imposed its own staging formula that gave an immediate rise of 3.5%, with a further 2.5% held back until next January.