Commissioner: Pay Review Process "Punch in the Nose" for Cops
The Government's rejection of the recommendations made in the last police officer pay review round puts the process in tatters, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has said.
The Commissioner today addressed the Police Superintendents' Association Annual Conference and shared how she was "extremely disappointed" with the outcome of the pay review.
The Commissioner said the Met had made a detailed case for a three per cent award, which was accepted by the Pay Review Body, but the Government chose to ignore the recommendation.
She said "I fully respect the government's right to make the decision - but on this occasion, the government chose to ignore the recommendations of the review body and chose instead ... to impose the two per cent consolidating award."
"That feels like one per cent to our officers and I am extremely disappointed by that outcome.
"I understand the government has to take into account a wide range of factors and we have worked tirelessly with the Home Office and the PRB to build the case for what I believe is fair pay for our officers, and I do regret the decision.
"It is a matter of principle that officers must have confidence in an independent body deciding on their pay.”
The commissioner added that Officers cannot strike, and although she believes that is right, the Government must in return respect the carefully argued recommendation from the PRRB.
She continued: "This is the second year in a row the government has rejected the Pay Review Body's recommendations in favour of a lower award and I think, as you probably have seen, I think this is wrong in principle, because it leaves the PRB process in tatters, undermines the careful balance that protects officers' rights; wrong in practice, because, in my view, and I appreciate I don't see the whole view, it flies in the face of evidence and rational argument; and wrong because, although I accept that any final decision is one for the government, it hasn't been explained very well yet and we have heard no proposal about how to rebuild confidence.
"I am sorry to say I do think that decision will have affected morale. I don't want the government to wait until we are struggling like the prison service with chronic under-staffing."
Answering questions on pay at the end of her speech, The Commissioner said "I'm fortunate because I get chance to see the Home Secretary regularly and the Prime Minister sometimes and I will keep talking.
"I hope I'm a police chief who fully understands and guards like a terrier... This is my job, and that is their job, operational independence and politics, and where we possibly can keep them apart.
"I don't want to be disrespectful to the political process or the government, but I do feel disappointed by the decision and I will keep on saying so."
She added: "Meanwhile I need to think, how can I recruit and how can I retain and how can I make my officers and staff feel that I really value them? Because I feel this is a punch on the nose."