Beadle backs 'fair pay deal' for police

September 6, 2007 12:00 AM

A senior Newcastle Liberal Democrat is backing the 'Fair Pay for Police Officers' campaign.

Ron Beadle, Parliamentary spokesman for Newcastle North, believes it is vital that police officers are given a fair pay settlement as soon as possible.

Ron said: "The fact that police officers are not permitted to take industrial action does not mean that we can feel free to ignore their grievances about their pay - the police force performs a truly vital public service, and they should be properly compensated for this.

"It is highly regrettable that negotiations on police pay have broken down for the second year in a row. Industrial relations between the Police Federation and government worked smoothly for 27 years, and it is disappointing that this no longer seems to be the case."

Ron said any changes in the levels of police pay must take place after full consultation and negotiations between interested parties.

He continued: "Given the outstanding work that our police forces perform on a daily basis, we have a duty to ensure that their wages do not fall behind those that would be found in relevant alternative careers, and that these wages are fair.

"I believe that the Booth report was a reasonable attempt to tackle a difficult issue. It is important that the police maintain an open mind about reforms to both pay and work practices."

He is backing the Police Federation's 'Fair Pay for Police Officers' campaign and is supporting Lib Dem colleagues who have signed EDM 1986.

Ron said police officers should be given the opportunity to be paid in a more flexible system in order to reflect their skills and achievements.

"Equally there is a need to look again at how the early retirement programme works; officers should be given opportunities and incentives to stay on past their fifties in roles such as scene of crime officers, custody officers or mentors," he said.

"Police pay and working practices are in need of reform, but such reform should not be rushed or imposed. I hope that if both the government and the police federation are willing to compromise a satisfactory outcome for all can be reached."