Mitch Batt, General Secretary of the Defence Police Federation, is up for the fight on unequal pay between forces. Here he explains why he thinks the situation is outdated and unfair…
In this day and age how is right that officers can stand side by side, do the same job but not get the same pay? This is the situation we find ourselves in as Ministry of Defence Police officers – out on a limb.
We are the only force that does not have pay parity with our Home Office Colleagues.
In fact, we get 95% of Home Office pay. When you consider that we’re the second largest firearms force in the country and that we take the same, if not more risks than some of our Home Office colleagues, then I believe we deserve more.
The fact that we get 95% of Home Office pay all stems from The Wright Report back in 1979 which decided that some police forces didn’t warrant full pay because of what they did. That ended up being us and The Civil Nuclear Constabulary.
Now the Government and force has agreed pay parity for CNC officers in December so here we are out on that limb.
Considering how long ago it was written and that we are the only force now still on 95% pay then it’s clear the report isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.
I don’t mind admitting it was tough seeing our valued colleagues in CNC achieve their pay rise and to see them working with their Chief Officer Group when our Chief Officer team don’t seem to want to do the same.
We’ve written to the Chief Constable to ask for a collaborative approach to the issue. We want to find a solution that will benefit our members and the force too.
I know members feel disconnected to the Chief Officer group right now.
They’re looking at an increase in fitness standards being requested and then there’s been the pension issue, pushing our retirement age up to 67 plus, which we are continuing to campaign about on our member’s behalf.
Our Home Office colleagues have that earlier pension age, but we carry more equipment. They want us to run further, work longer, it’s clearly not fair and now we’re in a similar situation with pay parity.
Everything the Chief Officer Group is doing seems to be just making life more difficult for us in our working environment right now.
I know morale is low amongst our officers – all we really want is to be treated and judged fairly like everybody else, but the Chief Officer group don’t want to put their heads above the parapet and fight for something that we clearly deserve.
I hope the Chief Constable will see that the letter I’ve written to him on this issue just asks for a collaborative approach. I just want the issue looked at, and I believe there’s real grounds for moving the pay parity issue forward.
We will fight as hard as we can to try and get MDP officers full pay parity in line with every other police force.
We believe our members deserve it.