Belfast Telegraph

PFNI calls on Secretary of State Brokenshire to intervene to deliver pay award to thousands of PSNI officers

By Claire Williamson

The Police Federation for Northern Ireland has called on the Secretary of State James Brokenshire to take action to deliver a pay award to thousands of PSNI officers.

The PFNI, which represents the PSNI's rank and file, warned that officers will not get a pay increase in their September payslips because there are no Northern Ireland ministers in place to sign off on any deal.

The call comes as Downing Street unveiled a 1.7% hike for prison officers and improvements totalling 2% in police pay for 2017/18.

Police will receive a 1% one-off “non-consolidated” bonus on top of their basic pay rise of 1% for 2017/18.

Their settlement and the 1.7% average rise for prison officers were agreed by Cabinet in line with the recommendations of the last two independent public sector pay review bodies to report this year.

The 2017/18 settlements will be met out of existing departmental budgets and will be implemented immediately.

However as Northern Ireland remains without a functioning Stormont Executive - there are no ministers in place to make the implementation for the PSNI.

Talks aimed at restoring a power-sharing government are continuing and last week Mr Brokenshire called on Northern Ireland's parties to reach an agreement as he said the window of opportunity to restore devolution is "closing rapidly".

In the past, pay parity has been maintained with England and Wales but the PFNI warned that this can no longer be taken for granted.

PFNI Chairman Mark Lindsay said: “Much to our disgust and disappointment there has been no such award relating to police officer pay for Northern Ireland. 

“The sole reason for this is the absence of a devolved administration, which requires consideration for any recommendations by both a Justice Minister and a Finance Minister. In addition, there is currently no legislative process in place in Northern Ireland to sign off any element of an award. 

“The Department of Justice is in possession of the Pay Review Body recommendations relating to Police pay in Northern Ireland, but a decision has been made at Permanent Secretary level not to share these recommendations prior to a Minister having sight of same.

“In the absence of a Northern Ireland Executive, we have written to the Secretary of State urging him to enact legislation which enables critical decisions pertinent to the effective running of Northern Ireland to be taken in the absence of local Ministers.

“We would also seek assurances that any increase for officers in Northern Ireland be backdated to the 1st September 2017.”

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