David J. Farley of Plympton, Plymouth, United Kingdom

David J. Farley of Plympton, Plymouth, United Kingdom

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Police Morale Plummets to New Depths

Many police officers will face the prospect of paying more in contributions and working longer.

Officers have reacted with fury to the news that most bobbies will have to work longer and pay more in monthly contributions to receive a full police pension.

The government announced on September 4 that, from 2015, a new “career average” scheme will replace the current final salary scheme and a new “normal” pension age of 60 will be introduced.

As expected, average member contributions will increase to 13.7 per cent.

Steve Trigg, Chairman of South Wales Police Federation, accused the government of being “unjust and immoral” in its changes.

He said: “This is quite disgraceful. We are a workforce with no employment rights and we have been forced into a situation where we can only voice our protest but take no other action. This government has failed our officers.”

A PC from Cheshire Police, who asked not to be named, added: “With the changes to pay and now pensions, I feel like I would earn more if I was on benefits.

“By 2015, with childcare costs, increased pension costs and a rise in cost of living I will be paying out more than I have coming in. The way this government are treating us disgusts me.”

Unlike pay, officers have no power of negotiation with the government where pensions are concerned. The Home Office can simply impose its wishes after consultation.

Andy Tempest-Mitchell, Chairman of West Yorkshire Police Federation, said: “Officers expect a reasonable pension as a payback for the huge restrictions that are placed on them in their private lives and the strict discipline code they are expected to adhere to.

“Policing is an arduous occupation and can take its toll over the years – the pension which is fully paid for is a reward for the intensity of a police career. You cannot expect officers to be working in the front-line into their 60s and beyond.”

The government also announced that there will be no change in pension age or amount received at current pension age for those who, at April 1 this year, were aged 45 or over.

There is also no change for those who are members of the 1987 Police Pension Scheme, aged 38 or over and 10 years or less away from being able to retire with a maximum 30-year pension.

Ian Hanson, Chairman of Greater Manchester Police Federation, said: “This whole episode was about damage limitation from day one and although what has been released by the government is far from good news, it is better than the original plan.

“We have managed to secure concessions that improve the position for many more police officers than was originally planned. We have had to be realistic and acknowledge that our pensions were going to be reformed regardless of what we did.”

Paul McKeever, national Police Federation Chairman, said: “Despite being disappointed with aspects of this announcement, Staff Side [of the Police Negotiating Board] accepts it within the context of the government’s wider public service pension’s reform agenda.”

Above article courtesy of - Royston Martis - www.policeoracle.com

Addendum -  I wholeheartedly agree with the following comments added by a retired officer:-

I like the bit about "it could have been much worse"

Boys and Girls, you have been shafted right up the "wrong un". I'm lucky to have retired a few years ago and I genuinely feel very sorry for those officers affected by this. The job is still the same job and always will be. The big difference (and it will only get worse) is that you are now led by spineless donkeys whose main aim is to climb the greasy pole and politicians who have no real understanding of what you do.I joined as a Cadet in 1978 and I'm old enough to remember when cops were leaving in there droves due to poor pay and conditions. The Tory government were forced to bring in the recommendations of the Edmund Davies report and the bobbies were then paid a decent salary. It now appears to have gone full circle. No one ever joins the cops to get rich. It really is a vocational occupation and after 30 years of being one of society's street sweepers, you would expect a decent pension (that you have paid for!) and the knowledge that you will have time to enjoy it. (with a bit of luck) I wouldn't like to put a PC requires assistance shout up knowing that a couple of 60+ officers (who may have been quite handy in there younger days) were my only get out of jail card.

Just remember though folks, the vast majority of the public are silently behind you. You need to let them know how angry you are and ask them to stand behind you. Then watch as the politicians squirm and backtrack.

Good luck and stay safe.....

My personal view is that, whilst accepting that in these days of severe fiscal austerity changes may be necessary, major structural changes such as those being implemented to the police pension scheme should be restricted to new recruits only who will have the choice to join or not to as the case may be. It strikes me as being grossly unfair that officers who joined under an agreed contract several years ago should now have their terms and conditions of service drastically altered midway through their service. I would have been mortified if that had occurred way into my 33 years of service.

Can you imagine if that was proposed for the gold plated pensions of members of parliament and government ministers what their reaction would be ? I also feel strongly that the retirement age for police officers should be no more than 55 with the added option of electing to continue to 60 for those who are fit enough to serve on the frontline and wish to do so.  The reckless spending of previous governments coupled with the debacle of the bankers acting without integrity have brought this financial mess upon us. Now the police service who cannot take strike action against such an injustice have become a soft target for the government in trying to redress the fiscal budget. It it high time the Police Federation used the subscriptions of its members to fight these draconian measures in the highest courts in the land and not just sit back and accept it as fait accompli.

1 comment:

Annette said...

The police have my support 100%
But they are not alone.
They feel cheated and angry and who can blame them?
So do we.
I and many others,should be retiring in 2 years time but no, we have another 5 years to do, and also, what about my pension? Whats going to happen to that?
As the gentleman said by the time I retire everything would have gone up I would be practically living on nothing.
I am so angry.
This government is an absolute disgrace.