Pay award welcome but system needs overhaul – PFNI
The Chair of the Police Federation for Northern Ireland, Mark Lindsay, has welcomed the long overdue pay award for officers but says the system here is in need of an overhaul.
Under the new award, PSNI officers will receive a pay increase of 2.5% backdated to 1 September in line with colleagues in England and Wales.
Mr Lindsay said: “Once again this process has taken far too long, with my colleagues having to wait four months longer for their increase. In England and Wales, the award was implemented in September.
“Here, however, we have a torturous and overly bureaucratic route to get what officers are entitled to. Given that the recommendation was made at the start of the summer, this process has once again proven to be cumbersome, clunky and strangled with ‘red tape’. It should be a simple stroke of the pen, with the groundwork done well in advance, instead of this merry-go-round of bureaucracy.
“Officers will be glad that this matter has been resolved, but the system in Northern Ireland is crying out for some streamlining. A welcome first move would be a more expedient settling on the Public Sector Pay Policy, which for some reason is not decided on early into the financial year. An early decision on this would go a long way to improving this process and ensuring that when the pay round is approved nationally, it is automatically applied in this devolved nation.
“Next year, it is likely that there will be a pay ‘pause’ which means that for seventeen consecutive years, police pay has in fact declined and that is hardly the action of a Government committed to doing what’s right for policing and I would urge the Minister to take this into consideration in future pay awards”