CHESHIRE’S police officers have hit out at the Government after it was announced they would received a pay rise less than the inflation rate.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith awarded officers a 2.5% pay rise following a period of arbitration.
However, instead of honouring the Government’s pledge to backdate the pay to September, Ms Smith has back- dated it to December 1, meaning in real terms the rise is only 1.9%.
Officers in Scotland have been granted the back pay by the Scottish Parliament.
Mark Faint, chairman of the Cheshire branch of the Police Federation, said: “The Scottish situation has compounded how we are feeling. Good luck to them, they deserve it. But now there are two tiers of pay.
“Do the Scottish police do anything different to the English? Do they deserve more?
“Our Home Secretary should honour her promises. We feel like we have been stabbed in the back.”
Inspector Phil Hodgson, of the Western Rural Police, said: “I have spoken to all of my staff and we feel very undervalued. You enter into pay negotiations in good faith and you have to accept that there will be differences of opinion, but once it has been agreed you expect to get the back pay.
“But at the Home Office they have gone back on this. Our pay now is below the level of inflation which devalues the negotiations of pay rises and by doing that how can we trust them again? We can’t strike and as such I believe we should be treated as a special case.
“My long-term worry is that if you are looking to recruit the best what will this say to them?
“I wouldn’t encourage my own children to join the police force at the moment.”