Police accept latest pay offer

Police officers and employees have voted to accept the Government's latest pay offer. 

The agreement provides for a pay increase of 3 percent per year over the next three years.

"The [Police Association] considers this pay deal as part of a package which encompasses the Government's promised 20 percent increase in staffing over the next three years," said the union's president Chris Cahill. 

"We have been adamant from the beginning of this process that it is not extra staff or a pay increase, but a combination of the two so the mounting stresses throughout policing, and in particular on the front line, are comprehensively addressed."

The Government's first pay offer of a 2 percent annual pay rise each year for three years was immediately rejected by police in September. Mr Cahill at the time said the Government needed to step up to entice more people into the industry. 

He told The AM Show at the time the Government needed to put together a package addressing a "variety of things" - not just a wage increase. Police wanted compensation for overtime, and potential allowances for officers based in expensive centres like Auckland. 

Mr Cahill says both the constabulary and police employee collective agreements were ratified after 150 meetings held throughout the country over four weeks. Voting over the latest offer officially finished on Wednesday. 

"Of the members who voted, the offer was accepted by 63 percent of constabulary members, while 86 percent of police employee members accepted their proposal," Mr Cahill said. 

"We are really happy to have seen a high level of interest from members - up 70 percent on the last collective - but we know there are still areas of concern which the association will continue to work on."

The union's 8500 sworn officer members had called for paid overtime, and better recognition of shift work, of the dangers of the job and of rising living costs. Police officers also say they under increased threat from violent offenders. 

In August, the Government announced where 1800 new police officers promised by the Government over the next three years will be located. Around 1280 will be deployed to districts around the country, with 200 focusing on preventing gang-related and drug-related crime. 


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