Staff at Suffolk police urged to reject 'insulting' government pay freeze
- Credit: Archant
Members of staff at Suffolk Constabulary are being encouraged to reject a government pay freeze by a civilian staff union after such a strenuous year with the pandemic.
This comes after the government is offering most of police staff 0%, with a rise of £250 for those on less than £24,000 per year.
Civilian staff union UNISON branded the offer “insulting,” saying it fails to reward staff for their work during the pandemic or make up for a decade of below-inflation pay awards.
Police staff have seen their wages rise just 12.2% in the last decade while the cost of living has risen 27.6% and with retail price index inflation now at 3.9%, UNISON warns police staff pay is going backwards.
UNISON Eastern regional organiser Natalie Platts said: “The Home Secretary thanked police staff for their work during lockdown, but thanks alone will not pay the bills. Police staff are angry and deserve more than this insult.
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“Across the country, the public have taken time to appreciate the pivotal role police and other emergency and care services played bringing the pandemic under control.
"This is a cruel and unnecessary government pay freeze.
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"There is no reward for staff keeping communities safe during the pandemic and the risks staff took coming to work during the lockdowns.”
The government's pay freeze has also received huge criticism from Suffolk Police Federation, which branded it as a "slap in the face".
Speaking previously about the pay freeze, Darren Harris, chairman of the Suffolk Federation, said: "Throughout the pandemic, they [officers] have carried on with a business-as-usual approach in circumstances that have been far from normal.
"They have put their own health at risk while serving their communities, dealing with all the regular calls for assistance, fighting crime, keeping order and protecting the vulnerable."
A Home Office spokesperson said: “The Home Secretary has demonstrated her commitment time and time again to supporting the brave police officers who keep us safe, giving them the resources and powers they need to fight crime and protect the public.
“We are recruiting 20,000 extra officers, 8,771 already in place, increased taxpayer funding for policing by up to £600m and gave forces £200m to meet unforeseen costs of the pandemic.
“The economy has been significantly impacted by the pandemic, with pressures on public finances and we must protect jobs and ensure fairness.”