Archive for August 11th, 2008

August 11th, 2008

Free Money!!

Posted in The Job - General by 200

We’re not very popular in the press this week, again. People don’t like it that some of us are getting extra cash.

The payments come in the form of three types  of additional ‘bonuses’. One of these is for carrying out duties whi are, for instance, particularly gruesome. We used to get an extra allowance for fingerprinting dead bodies – to try & ID them – this, along with several other allowances was the  taken away when the government wanted to save a bit of cash.

Payments range from £50 to £500. It was introduced for a wider range of duties & the payment amounts are at the discretion of the chief.

Then came Special Priority Payments. This was in the form of an annual grant to each force of a set amount of extra cash. The chief could use it to top of the wage of a limited percentage of its officers. That percentage is fixed by the government & restricts payments to less than 50% of the force. The chief decides how to split this amount up & what amount to give to each individual department or specialism. It’s typically used in role which are either hard to fill, dangerous or onerous, or where staff are disappearing to other forces, for instance the Met, who can offer a higher salary due to the London allowances.

It’s a very divisive payment & there is a lot of anger & argument from departments which feel they ought to receive it but don’t. It often goes to firearms officers, senior detectives, CID & not usually to front line 24-hour shift officers.

The third payment scheme is Competency Related Pay & is for officers over a certain amount of service who are at the top of their pay scale. It’s a payment you can claim if you evidence the fact that you are good at your job. This basically means copying someone else’s report saying how good you are & changing the name to your own.

I’m not that certain about the validity or requirement reasons for these payments, to be honest. I only get the third one which amounts, I think, to an extra amount of about £80 (taxable) per month.

Mike Craik, chief constable of Northumbria is more forthright. He described the payments as “an inapropriate way of rewarding public services” but went on to say he’d prefer to see a better pay scale. He criticised the bonus payment scheme by saying “I have seen the most grisly things you could ever come across, but that is the job I signed up to”.

His criticism of the payments didn’t stop him trousering a share of a £47,000 bonus payment to him & 4 of his senior staff.