Earlier today I wrote to the new Chair of the NCA Remuneration Review Body, Zoë Billingham, submitting a comprehensive set of proposals and evidence for a consolidated 10% uplift pay for NCA Officers in 2022/23.
It is clear that the NCA is critically reliant on recruiting and retaining its cadre of high calibre officers, if it is to ensure that it maintains its position as lead agency in combatting the threat of serious and organised crime.
The HM Treasury ‘Pay Pause’ in 2021/22 simply exasperated the prolonged period of austerity which has resulted in NCA officers still some way from receiving comparable pay to Policing peers and other comparator organisations - within both the public and private sector.
This year the NCOA have again, sought a widespread expansion of the Spot Rate (SR) pay mechanism. This would provide a level of contractual pay progression for all NCA officers, which goes some way to insulate against perpetual below inflation cost of living pay rises. Notably, policing peers continue to benefit from contractual pay progression.
If this expansion of SR pay cannot be achieved this year, then the NCOA have proposed that remedial action is taken to enable officers to progress along the Standard Pay framework. This proposal, along with other recommendations to remedy recurring inequality in other allowances, is included in our submission.
The Agency has already signalled that they will seek a 1 year pay deal in 2022/23, followed by a further 3 years of pay reform. No details on this future package have been shared yet. Extending NCA Pay reform to almost a 10-year period is not only unprecedented but also, not without risk to the Agency. It does not seem appropriate to secure a 3 year pay deal whilst responding to rising levels of inflation which seems likely to get worse before it gets better.
As we have made clear, detrimental changes to the terms and conditions of NCOA Members as part of a future NCA pay offer are completely unrealistic. If after 10 years of pay reform the NCA expects its officers to accept real terms pay cuts, I am sure that, as they have done in the past, NCOA members will join us in soundly rejecting any such proposals.
With the Agency, having calculated the likely costs of completing NCA pay reform, we have encouraged them to include this information in its NCARRB submission. It must surely be the Number 1 priority of any incoming Director General to secure this as additional funding. Whilst we have said so many times before, self–funding simply does not deliver what is required – this year never more so.
In the coming months, your Trade Union will fight to secure the best possible pay offer for 2022/23. We are willing to work with the Agency to help secure the additional funding needed to provide the fair pay mechanism our Members deserve.