Industrial rights call not off table if pay review board sidelined

Home Secretary declines to state she'll implement remuneration rise recommended by body.

Steve White

Steve White

Date - 17th May 2016
By - Ian Weinfass - Police Oracle
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The Home Secretary has refused to pledge that she will abide by the recommendations of the independent remuneration review body on pay.

Police Federation chairman Steve White called, in his speech to the staff association's conference in Bournemouth, for a 2.8 per cent rise for officers this year.

He said: “Police officers have been hit with a real-terms pay cut of 15 per cent over the past six years even as we are asked to do more.”

Mr White then said the 2.8 per cent was “pitiful” but added “we understand the need to be pragmatic and that's why what we are asking for is a bare minimum”.

He pointed out that MPs recently had a ten per cent increase in their pay.

Home Secretary Theresa May did not acknowledge the call in her speech.

Asked by PoliceOracle.com's Ian Weinfass afterwards if she would begrudge officers such a rise if the body recommended it, she simply said: “We set up a new structure that's an independent process that will report in due course.”

PoliceOracle.com columnist Royston Martis added: “You didn't answer the question from Steve White about whether you would honour the RRB's position.”

Mrs May replied: “I've never yet made an in advance comment about what will come out of a board. The pay review body will come to a conclusion.”

Mr Martis asked if that meant she would not give any assurances on the matter, to which she said: “I think it is right for government to say we will listen to what the pay review body says and then make a decision.”

Speaking to PoliceOracle.com later in the afternoon, Mr White said that if the remuneration review body is not listened to, the Fed may have to change its approach to negotiations.

“What is really important is that this is the second year of the pay review body, we will have to see if it's working.

“We put a lot of work into our submission but if its recommendations are not taken up and if the system comes into question as an organisation we may have to do things differently.”

Asked if this would mean calling for industrial rights, he did not rule this out but just said things would need to change.

Last year Chief Secretary to the Treasury Greg Hands wrote to chairmen of various independent review bodies to say that some workers should not receive a one pc rise, although this was eventually granted to police.

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