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Winsor pay freeze 'is now thawing'

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Date - 11th March 2014
By - Royston Martis - Police Oracle




The “Winsor” freeze on increment payments for police officers is about to thaw – with constables and sergeants once again able to climb their way up the pay scales from the beginning of April.

After a two-year wait, constables across England and Wales in the first decade of their careers will see their pay rise on the anniversary of joining the job.

The Winsor Part I report froze police officer increments at the end of March 2012. Now officers will start again where they left off two years ago.

This is to a maximum salary of £36,885, the top of the constables’ pay scale – currently 11 points.

Over the next three years the old 11-point constables’ pay scale will be reduced to eight points during an “assimilation process”.

This move is in response to Recommendation 55 of the Winsor II report, which stated: “Pay points 6, 7, and 9 should be removed from the existing constables’ pay scale in April 2014, 2015, and 2016 respectively.”

When a pay point is removed officers will not automatically move to the next highest pay point but will move instead in line with their incremental date.

The changes were circulated by the Police Negotiating Board on Friday March 7.


‘Fair manner’

According to the Police Federation of England and Wales, The Police Negotiating Board’s objective “was to reduce the pay scale in a fair manner.”

This, said the national Federation, meant ensuring that no leapfrogging took place. However, there will be some “overtaking within the scale when officers resume their incremental progression at the end of the freeze. This will be rectified by the time officers reach the top of the pay scale so that no colleague with less service reaches the top of the pay scale ahead of them.”

Although there will be no leapfrogging there will be “catching up”. A large group of officers will reach the top of scale on October 1 2016.

The Fed stated: “Due to the change to some constables’ incremental dates, a group of officers will move [increment points] twice in 2015 – once on their usual incremental date and once on 1 October 2015, which will become their new incremental date.”

This applies to officers who joined between 1 January and 30 September 2005, January 1 and March 31 2006 and January 1 and March 31 2007.

At the end of the assimilation process in April 2016, according to the Fed, there will still be two separate constables’ pay scales.

“When all officers recruited onto the older constables’ pay scale have reached the top of that scale (which will be the same as the top of the pay scale for new entrants [who joined post April 2013]), there will in effect only be one pay scale for constables. This will happen in approximately 2020.”

Pay point 0 of the sergeants’ pay scale will be removed on April 1 – this according to the Winsor report – is to ensure “that sergeants are always paid more than constables, consistent with the greater responsibilities of the job.”

Sergeants who are on pay point 0 when it is removed will move directly to pay point 1 on April 1 2014. These officers will have a new incremental date of April 1 and will therefore move to pay point 2 on April 1 2015, after completing one year’s reckonable service.

Pay point 1 for a sergeant is £38,145.

All constables promoted to the rank of sergeant from April 1 2014 will join the sergeants’ pay scale at pay point 1, irrespective of their length of service as a constable.

Nick Smart, Chairman of West Yorkshire Police Federation, said the two-year increment freeze on police officers has been “more evidence of an ideological attack on the Police Service”.

He added: “We are the only public service to have had an incremental pay freeze on top of the two-year pay freeze.

“Officers have also suffered removal of Special Priority Payments and phased removal of Competency Related Threshold Payments. We are not exactly sure how recent claims we are all better off have been made...certainly police officers are not feeling it.”

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