Sunak May Block Public-Sector Pay Rises

THE Government clearly doesn’t value police officers, Hampshire Police Federation has said, following reports that the Prime Minister is planning to block pay rises for public-sector workers.

According to The Times, Rishi Sunak has said he is prepared to overrule independent pay review bodies for police, teachers and junior doctors, amid concerns that 6% pay rises could fuel inflation.

Hampshire Police Federation Chair Zoë Wakefield said that these reports confirmed the Federation’s stance on not engaging with the PRRB.

She said: “The only messages we’ve been getting from the Government for a long time, before Mr Sunak, is that they do not care about police officers. And I don’t think they care about some of the other public-sector workers either. They don’t value us, they’re not willing to look at a proper remuneration package for us, or a proper system in which we can discuss our pay.

“There is no point in having a pay review body if it’s ignored. It’s really frustrating, because when politicians get their big, hefty pay rises, they’ll say, ‘But it’s by an independent body and we can’t interfere in that’. So it’s clearly one rule for them and a different rule for all of us.

“That is just clearly unfair. Not just for police officers, but for teachers, and for junior doctors who are working long hours in not great conditions, and just want to help people. The Government is taking advantage of that.”

There was still public support for police officers, Zoë said, and the police should try to get that message out to the Government.

She said: “It’s not just the police officers who are being treated this way, and we should collectively try to make the Government realise that they can’t just keep treating us like this.

“It’s difficult, because we don’t have a lot of power. We don’t have a lot of sway. But I do think that the majority of the public still support police officers and that’s what we need to get across.

“There are misconceptions, as well, about how much we get paid. I think when people realise the reality of how poorly paid we are, for the risk that we carry and the danger that we’re faced with every day, a lot of the public will support us.”

Zoë continued: “It’s ironic that we have the Police Bravery Awards, where you get all these really courageous police officers and they’re given all the niceties by Downing Street, and then effectively they’re stabbed in the back as they walk away.

“Pursuing industrial rights – which is not going to change anything quickly – is one way to try to get across to the Government how fed up everybody is. We’ve already seen voluntary resignations in the police go up. They’re only going to go up further. People are going to seek alternative employment, with less of the danger, less of the inconvenience, less of the shift work, less missing your kids’ birthdays, and for better money.”

Scroll to top