West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson has announced 3,758 staff and PCSOs will receive the same pay increase as officers were given by the government last month, ensuring they will get an extra 1% on top of the planned 1% increase.
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said,
“Just like officers, staff and PCSOs play a hugely important role keeping the region safe and deserve the same treatment. That is why I am taking tough decisions to ensure they receive a pay rise too.
“Emergency call handlers make life and death decisions, it is regretful that the government fails to see them as ‘frontline’ workers. In the West Midlands we most certainly recognise the contribution all our staff make to keeping us safe.
“I regret this announcement doesn’t allow me to raise pay in line with inflation for staff, PCSOs and officers, however this shows how much I value the work all our workforce does. I hope by the time of the budget, the government will have put the funding in place to top-up this increase to match inflation.
“I am sure the public will back my decision to ensure fairness across the workforce. In the West Midlands council tax for policing will still be £60 cheaper than surrounding forces. Even after this announcement we will still be the second cheapest force in the country to council tax payers.”
A joint statement from Unite and Unison on the PCC’s announcement,
“Unite and Unison commends the PCC David Jamieson for his supportive comments towards Police Staff and PCSOs. Both unions are currently locked in national pay negotiations with the Police Staff Council.”
As the government’s officer pay increase wasn’t funded centrally, it relied on local PCCs to fund it out of existing budgets – putting planned recruitment at risk.
The PCC plans to increase council tax by £5 next year, last year the £5 increase netted £4.7 million. The increase will pay for PCSO and staff pay rises. The PCC has already announced recruitment of 800 officers, 200 specialist staff and 150 PCSOs to stabilise police numbers. This will continue in full, through council tax increases and drawing down of reserves.
The PCC will consult the public on this proposed council tax increase later this year and formally seek the views of the West Midlands Police and Crime Panel in the New Year.
The funding the PCC is putting in place will enable the Chief Constable as employer to raise Police staff and PCSO pay.
PCC David Jamieson’s announcement means Police staff and PCSOs will receive the same pay increase as officers, breaking the public sector pay cap. If the Police Staff Council national award is higher, staff in the West Midlands will receive pay at the higher rate.
The Council next meets on October 24 2017, at which point the PCC hopes they will confirm the same rise for staff across the country too.
Commenting on the upcoming Police Staff Council meeting, David Jamieson said,
“I sincerely hope the Police Staff Council take note of what I am doing in the West Midlands and give staff and PCSOs across the country the same increase as officers.”
The Police and Crime Commissioner’s announcement guarantees staff and PCSOs will receive the same increase as officers. If the Police Staff Council national award is higher, staff in the West Midlands will receive pay at the higher rate.
Increasing police pay by 1% above the previously budgeted cap will cost £0.98 million. The increase in officer pay announced by the government will cost £3.04 million this year.
The officer pay increase the PCC has pledged to match for Police staff and PCSOs, means that on top of the 1% pay increase, all will also receive a 1% non-consolidated increase. This means the extra pay is not pensionable and guaranteed for one year.
Policing Precepts 2017/18 in the West Midlands region (Band D properties):
West Midlands £116.55
West Mercia £189.60
With a £5 increase in council tax West Midlands Police will still be nearly £60 cheaper than every other police force in the region. Surrey currently charges £224.57 for a Band D property.
By 2020 all non-essential reserves will be spent. Essential reserves must be maintained for issues including: major incidents, insurance and major equipment purchases.