The NCOA sent a clear message to the Home Secretary and HM Government opposing all indications of placing NCA officers into a period of frozen pay. General Secretary, Simon Boon contacted Priti Patel personally with the following message ...
Rt. Honourable Priti Patel MP
The Home Office,
2 Marsham Street,
27th November 2020
Dear Ms Patel,
Re: NCA Pay Review Process 2021/22.
As an active participant, you will know that the NCA Remuneration Review Body (NCARRB) was established to deal with annual pay awards for NCA officers with designated powers. The NCA, with the support of its Trade Unions, accept the principle that any pay award made to officers with designated powers is applied with consistency to NCA officers who do not have powers.
Since the inception of the NCA in 2013, the proportion of officers with designated powers has reduced and now sits far lower than those without. Custom and practice dictates that collective bargaining on pay between the Trade Unions and the NCA for non-powered officers, does not take place until the recommendations of the NCARRB have been considered by HM Government and the NCA.
Under normal circumstances, the NCARRB would have received your remit and commissioning letter by now, which would have been shared with the NCA and the NCOA, to act as the trigger point to commence the 2021/2022 pay round.
The NCOA represents the majority of NCA officers (whether that be with, or without designated powers) and our members are bitterly disappointed by the announcement made by your Cabinet colleague, Chancellor Rishi Sunak, which indicates pay is now frozen for most NCA officers in 2021/22.
Earlier this year you accepted all of the NCARRB recommendations in their entirety, commenting,
‘Serious Organised Crime is evolving rapidly in both volume and complexity. I have been clear that the NCA needs to transform to meet the threat head on. Part of this transformation includes being able to attract, recruit and retain the right people. This Review Body’s recommendations help support the NCA to achieve that goal.’
Within their report, the NCARRB were also very clear,
‘ we assess that a relatively small level of funding increase could have a significant effect on the pace and impact of pay reform. We will want to see that progress has been made in evidence for next year’s pay round’
Whilst not insensitive to the financial implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, NCA staff are keyworkers and our members, without complaint, have attended work during this crisis in order to maintain the fight against serious and organised crime. Comparisons made between public and private sector pay, played out in the media prior to the Chancellor’s announcement as well as the formal announcement itself, are simply not recognised by my members, whose pay it is agreed, requires urgent reform
The NCA pay transformation process, so important to the fight against serious and organised crime, was due to continue until at least 2024. To freeze that process now will leave the majority of my members in limbo, their pay still not in line with comparators in either the private sector or more significantly, UK law enforcement. Your challenge to attract, recruit and retain the right people is therefore likely to be unachievable.
I would therefore urge HM Government to recognise the NCARRB’s independent assessment of NCA pay as well as previous commitments of the Government and respond by insulating my members from any proposed pay freeze.
I look forward to your urgent response given the short timeframe to commence the 2021/2022 pay round for NCA officers.
NCOA General Secretary
cc Director General NCA – Lynne Owens
cc Anita Bharucha - Chair, NCA Remuneration Review Body