A couple of commentators have been predicting the proposed changes to Police pay could end the Government up in a similar situation to the class size issue. I do not believe this is the case, because of the unique law around how Police pay, terms and conditions are decided.
Schedule 2 of the Policing Act 2008 sets out an arbitration procedure between the Police Commission and the appropriate Police unions if they can not agree amongst themselves to any changes. A three or five person committee arbitrates any disputes. Each side appoints one or two members, and the Labour Dept CEO appoints the Chair.
The decision of the committee is binding (this is in return for no right to strike), but more significantly it can not agree to any compromise or partial solution. It’s sole job is to decide between the offer from the Commissioner and the claim from the union.
This has a very significant impact on how reasonable each side is. The more hardline you are about your offer, the less likely it is that it will be chosen. This is different to normal negotiations where you try and budge as little as possible.
So it is unlikely there will be significant changes to Police pay and conditions unless they can convince the Police unions of their merits, or the independent committee is convinced they are fair, will help recruit and retain constables etc compared to the status quo.Tags: Police