Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness has announced she’s stepping down from her national role negotiating pay deals for police staff in response to the “grossly unfair” pay offer made to police staff and officers.
In the run up to the budget police staff and officers were told they would have to accept a 0% pay freeze. And while the Chancellor has this week promised a partial pay U-turn, he has refused to bring in any pay rise before this winters crippling fuel bills hit hard working staff, or to say if he will match rising inflation rates.
Over the course of this year Kim McGuinness has led talks between PCCs nationally and the Home Office, but has now announced that “if ministers won’t stand by our workers then there is no point negotiating with this Government.”
Police staff have previously been the only group of emergency responders to have had a pay freeze imposed on them.
PCC Kim McGuinness, said: “Yes, we absolutely want to see an end to the pay freezes, especially to police staff, who have suffered a kick in the teeth when left out of previous pay rise announcements. But any rises offered at the expense of rising fuel bills and food costs, is an absolute no for me. It will make no difference whatsoever.
“We cannot wait until next year, these staff and officers are people who got us through a pandemic, they put their families at risk, and they did it for us.
“We need Government to fund an above inflation payrise for staff and officers urgently.”
Trade Union body UNISON has also called for fair pay for key workers.
UNISON regional secretary Clare Williams said: “If the chancellor doesn’t allocate extra money to government departments to fund the much-needed wage rises, the pay freeze will continue in all but name.”
“There’s never a good time to freeze public sector pay. Doing so at the peak of a pandemic was the height of folly.
“Staff were doing their all to keep under-pressure services running, and ministers looked like they didn’t care.
“There can be no decent public services without the people to run them. Pay freezes don’t help employers hold on to experienced staff, nor attract new recruits.
Kim McGuinness resigned in writing as the lead negotiator for the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners regarding staff pay. It came after the Home Office refused to fund any pay rise for staff and police officers.
Earlier this year, the Commissioner joined UNISON, GMB and Unite in writing a joint letter which highlighted that police staff were the only group of emergency responders to have had a pay freeze imposed on them, which Kim McGuinness described as ‘beyond insulting’.