Welsh public support higher pay rise for police staff

54 per cent of the Welsh public believe the UK government was wrong to propose a pay freeze for police staff earning more than £24,000.

Only 28 per cent agreed the Westminster government was right to block any pay increase.

That’s the finding of a Savanta ComRes poll of 1,009 people released today.

The poll was commissioned by public services union, UNISON Cymru Wales, which has made securing a fair pay rise for all the public service workers who have worked throughout the pandemic, a priority.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has frozen pay for the majority of police staff, whilst lower earners on salaries of up to £24,000, would receive just £250 under the proposals.

UNISON described the offer as ‘insulting’ which does not reward the hard work of police staff during Covid or make up for a decade of poor pay awards which have squeezed living standards. The value of all police staff pay rises over the last ten years has been 12.2 per cent whilst the cost of living has risen by 27.6 per cent.

This summer, police staff members of UNISON in Wales and England voted against the pay award.

Joanne Everson, vice-chair of UNISON Cymru Wales Police and Justice, said,

“It’s heartening to hear police staff have the support of the Welsh public in our campaign for a fair pay increase.

“They can see how we continued to work very hard to support communities and keep people safe over the last 19 months, placing ourselves at greater risk of exposure to Covid.

“Welsh people have recognised our dedication and sacrifices weren’t acknowledged by the pay freeze imposed by the UK government. Police staff pay is going backwards and our family budgets have really been squeezed over the last ten years.”

Simon Dunn, UNISON Cymru Wales lead officer for police and justice, said,

“There’s no doubting police staff were angered by what they saw as UK government hypocrisy, clapping and thanking police staff for their work during lockdown and then blocking a fair pay rise.

“These resounding polling results add to the pressure on the UK government to think again and return to the negotiating table. UNISON is determined to secure police staff a better pay deal.”