New recruits salaries continue to prove contentious

New recruits salaries continue to prove contentious

23 May 2018

(Right to left) CC Francis Habgood, PCC Ron Hogg, Dr Joan Donnelly, Andy Fittes

A theme that both delegates and panellists returned to during a session on pay and conditions at Annual Conference today was the proposed starting salary of £18,000 per annum for some new recruits. Andy Fittes, our National General Secretary, stated that “we (the PFEW) have a fundamental issue at that starting salary – it’s too low.”

This view was also echoed by Dr Joan Donnelly, our Head of Research and Policy, who highlighted that if the starting salary of £23k, at the time of the Winsor review, had been increased with inflation it would now stand at £26.5k. Those commenting said that the salary offered to new recruits has to be sufficient to attract the right calibre of individual into the service and to recognise the additional requirements placed on the individual to not only complete their on-the-job training and to perform in their role as an officer, but also having to cope with the pressures of studying.

Chief Constable Francis Habgood, lead for Pay and Conditions for the National Police Chief Council (NPCC), stated that the starting salary had been arrived at by collecting data from both the private and public sector, which had found that the average apprenticeship starting salary was £16,000.

Dr Donnelly questioned the validity of the pay data used to calculate the entry level starting salary used in the submission made to the NPCC, stating that it contained data from apprenticeships that did not fall into the same high level apprenticeship that would be used in the police service.    

Another theme that Federation representatives returned to in their questioning of the panel was whether it was right to adopt a policy that placed an emphasis on recruits needing a degree to join the service. Later in the day after the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, had addressed Conference, he was asked if he thought a police officer needed a degree – he replied ‘No, I don’t’. 

CC Habgood also updated Conference on the work and progress being made implementing the Policing Vision 2025.

The vision, which was first outlined in 2015, will shape decisions around transformation and how resources are used to help to keep people safe and provide an effective, accessible and value for money service that can be trusted.

When launched, one of the stated aims of the vision was that it was to be “about more than making savings or incremental reform; our ambition is to make transformative change across the whole of policing. The public, and improving policing for them, are at the heart of this vision.”

The strategy also links to the ‘Workforce Transformation in the Police’ produced by the College of Policing. This covers the need to ensure that there is a clear strategy and career path in place for new recruits into the service.