Priti Patel visiting North Yorkshire police officers last year (Picture: Getty)
The organisation representing over 130,000 rank rank-and-file police officers has said it no longer has confidence in the Home Secretary following a pay freeze.
Priti Patel has confirmed police officers earning more than £24,000 would be hit by the freeze, while those earning less will be given an annual rise of £250.
The Police Federation of England and Wales, which had opposed the decision, said the pay system was ‘not fit for purpose’ and announced plans to withdraw its support from the body which reviews remuneration.
National chairman John Apter said: ‘We often hear the Home Secretary praise police officers but our members are so angry with this Government. They have been on the frontline of this pandemic for 18 months and will now see other public services given pay increases while they receive nothing.
‘At the beginning of this pandemic they endured PPE shortages and were not even prioritised for the vaccination.
‘They continue to be politicised and this pay announcement is the final straw.
A protest march through central London on Tuesday demanding 15% pay increase for health workers (Picture: Rex)
Priti Patel during a foot patrol with new police recruits around Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, in January (Picture: PA)
‘As the organisation that represents more than 130,000 police officers I can say quite categorically – we have no confidence in the current Home Secretary. I cannot look my colleagues in the eye and do nothing.’
Announcing the pay freeze in a written ministerial statement on Wednesday, Ms Patel said: ‘This is in order to ensure fairness between public and private sector wage growth, as the private sector was significantly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic in the form of reduced hours, suppressed earnings growth and increased redundancies, whilst the public sector was largely shielded from these effects.’
Workers including nurses, paramedics, consultants and dentists will get the hike ‘in recognition of their extraordinary efforts’ during the pandemic after ministers accepted the recommendations of the pay review body.
The Department of Health and Social Care said the pay rise would mean an additional £1,000 per year for the average nurse and a £540 annual increase for porters and cleaners.
But unions criticised the pay offer, calling it ‘insulting’, ‘grossly inadequate’ and ‘frankly appalling’.
Rachel Harrison, GMB national officer, said: ‘Hospitals and ambulance services are operating under extreme pressures due to rising demand and staffing shortages.
‘This was the opportunity for Government to turn their clapping into genuine recognition. Their response is paltry. They have failed spectacularly.
‘NHS workers know their worth and so do the public – shame on the government who don’t.’
Royal College of Nursing chief executive Pat Cullen added: ‘When the Treasury expects inflation to be 3.7%, ministers are knowingly cutting pay for an experienced nurse by over £200 in real-terms.’
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