Home Secretary David Blunkett has raised the pay and allowance increases agreed by the Police Negotiating Board in December last year as part of the reform package. Rank and file police offers will vote on the reform package on 7th February and it was thought that the decision was finely balanced. The new cash is likely to swing the majority to vote ‘yes’.The increases include a 400 pounds across the board addition to all pay points and a shortening of pay scales from April 2003. A competence-related payment of 1,002 pounds a year will be paid to officers at the top of the pay scales and it is expected that some 75% of officers will meet the qualifying criteria.. Special priority payments will be made where posts involve arduous and onerous duties involving permanently long hours of overtime such as surveillance work and kidnap cases. Payments will vary from 500 to 5000 pounds. The starting salary of older recruits will rise from the current 17,733 pounds to 20,244 pounds in April 2003. Proposed reductions in premium payments for overtime working will now be phased in over two years and some of the reductions for bank holiday working have been restored.
Significant new money is being committed to the scheme and in a move to ensure that it gets through to the front line, police authorities will have to spend a minimum of 1% of the force’s annual basic paybill on the package in 2003/04, rising to 2% in 2005/06.
Next month’s vote on the reform package will now hinge on reaction to the proposals to give new powers to non-police officers to do certain types of police work such as dealing with anti social behaviour.
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