THE Government needs to show its support to police officers through their pay packets, not in ‘worthless’ platitudes says Hampshire Police Federation.
A Treasury office document allegedly leaked to a national newspaper apparently stated that a public sector pay freeze was being mooted as one way to fill the enormous hole left in the nation’s finances by COVID-19.
At a time when officers and NHS staff have been working so hard to protect the public, it would be another kick in already bruised shins for frontline key workers.
Some Government MPs have tried to defuse the row by dismissing the pay freeze claims.
Hampshire Police Federation Chairman Alex Charge said the value the Government has in policing, and emergency service workers can be seen in how they view their pay and conditions.
“The real measure of the value the Government holds the police in isn’t now with platitudes,” he said.
“When it comes to the crunch, it’s about when it comes to pay rises; it’s about when it comes to pay and conditions, it’s about when it comes to pensions. Things that require a bit of effort from the Government and will require significant investment.”
Alex has echoed the stance taken by the PFEW on the issue – PFEW Chair John Apter said any pay freeze would be morally bankrupt and that Government Ministers clapping for carers would be the height of hypocrisy.
“When John Apter said it would be morally corrupt, I couldn’t agree with him more,” Alex said.
“[Emergency service workers] are people who hold the country together in times of crisis and if you treat them by freezing their pay because it’s an easier option, that’s disgraceful.
“It just makes all the platitudes and the, ‘Aren’t we doing a fantastic job?’ worthless. When it counts is when it comes to pay, conditions and how we’re treated.”
It’s something Alex plans to discuss with Hampshire MPs.
“It will be at the top of the agenda,” he said.
“It’s about the Government putting its money where its mouth is. Supporting the police doesn’t just look like soundbites in the media; it looks like good conditions; it looks like the police covenant being a real physical thing that officers feel.
“We’ll keep going back to politicians with it – in general they’re very supportive and listen and following this document being released lots of politicians have come out in support to say it’s not the right thing to do.”