By this point in each year the NCA and its Trade Unions should have received a remit and commissioning letter from the Home Secretary, this is the normal catalyst to start the pay engagement process for the following year. Mindful that no such letter had been received, in recent weeks I have been in contact with both the Office of Manpower Economics (OME) and the NCA on any potential delay to the pay process.
Whilst you will already be aware that HM Government had already postponed a proposed 3-year Comprehensive Spending Review in favour of a 1 year assessment, the leaked messaging this morning of a potential freeze of public sector pay will no doubt cause even more unease for NCOA Members. With the NCA only part way through a process of pay reform which is due to run until 2024, your Trade Union have been continuing to push for on-going reform, especially as the majority of NCA officers pay still lags behind comparators in both the public and private sector.
In the coming weeks and months, there will no doubt be some difficult decisions to take by the NCA and HM Government on how to manage their budgets. To stall pay reform at this time will have a detrimental impact on the ability of the NCA to retain its experienced officers and recruit the next generation of officers who will play their part in the investigation of serious and organised crime. The aim of developing a more diverse workforce will be delayed and the push to reduce the gender pay gap will be left in limbo.
Our recent Under Cover articles highlight the ability of the NCA to function during the COVID-19 pandemic. A pay freeze at this time would be a sell out by HM Government for the loyal officers of the NCA who have continued to fight the rising tide and complexity of serious and organised crime during this crisis in order to protect the public it serves.
The NCOA remain committed to seek fair and equitable pay awards on behalf of all its members. We thank our members for their continued support and will report in further detail once there is greater clarity on the Governments position.
Steve BOND - National Officer