The recent Agency update signaling a likely delay to the 2023/24 award, whilst predictable following the much delayed 2022/23 pay award, is also extremely disappointing for NCOA Members.
As we reported in our recent issue of Under Cover, there were a number of factors which caused delays to 2022/23 Pay Award, amongst which was that 2022 marked the seventh consecutive year that the NCA delivered its evidence late.
Previously the other parties involved in the process have worked hard to ensure a pay award was delivered on time however, it is now apparent that poor planning by the Agency and Home Office, will compound the frustrations our members have in a system which seems more focused on process rather than delivering what the Agency needs to recruit and retain its officers.
Of the eight independent pay review bodies providing HM Government with advice on pay for almost half a million public sector workers, it is only the NCA Remuneration Review Body (NCARRB) which has yet to have a remit letter issued. Others, including the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB), are already on track to deliver pay awards in the Autumn. Their recommendations are expected to be reported next month.
If the Agency intends to justify a delay to this year’s award, it must be confident that it will be able to deliver an award more than the recent published Civil Service pay remit of 4.5% for 2023/24, particularly in light of inflation now being above 10% for over 12 months.
The NCOA will continue to fight for a fair and timely consolidated pay award for all its members. The NCOA will be clear to the NCARRB, that this year’s pay award must reflect the continued high rate of inflation which is causing spiraling food and energy costs and a detrimental impact on our members. We will be clear that the NCARRB should be advising HM Government that not only is an across-the-board, double-digit, uplift for all NCA officers justified, it should be in addition to the one-off cost of living payment offered to other public sector employees in settlement of their pay disputes.
At this stage it is unclear whether the Agency plans will return to recommending differential pay awards in 2023/24 or propose a long-term plan to deliver pay progression for all officers.
Steve Bond – National Officer