The Police Negotiating Board (PNB) yesterday (24 July 2012) registered a "failure to agree" on the recommendations of the second part of the Winsor review of pay and conditions for police in England and Wales.
The review, published in March 2012, set out 121 recommendations proposing long-term changes to the pay and conditions of police officers and staff. These include:
- introducing compulsory severance for police officers;
- shortening the pay scale for constables, and reducing the starting salary to £19,000 compared with the current £23,259;
- introducing a specialist skills threshold at the final pay point of all police officer pay scales up to the rank of chief superintendent, with access to the top pay point limited to specific roles;
- making pay progression subject to a satisfactory annual appraisal marking;
- introducing annual fitness tests for police officers;
- introducing direct entry schemes at inspector, chief constable and superintendent rank; and
- abolishing the PNB and replacing it with an independent police officer pay review body, with the Review Body on Senior Salaries setting the pay of chief constables, deputy chief constables and assistant chief constables.
The Home Secretary Theresa May asked the PNB and the Police Advisory Board to consider "as a matter of urgency proposals on pay . . . and other matters that are within their respective remits".
Following the failure of the PNB to reach agreement, the recommendations will now be referred to the Police Arbitration Tribunal (PAT). Paul McKeever, chair of the staff side of the PNB, and Graham Cassidy, vice-chair, described it as "bitterly disappointing" that the official side of the PNB had rejected the staff side's alternative offer of changes to pay and conditions, and said the decision "will do nothing to reduce the calls by some police officers for industrial rights and will leave others questioning what the future holds for them" in the police service. A Home Office spokesperson said: "It is disappointing that it has not been possible to reach agreement. However the process is ongoing."
The recommendations in the first part of the
short-term reform of the police service, were also referred to the PAT
the PNB failed to reach agreement, and in January 2012 May accepted the findings
of the PAT in full.
Discussions on those recommendations affecting police staff that were referred to the Police Staff Council are ongoing.