Police say officers overpaid

23:42, Jun 08 2012

Police want to introduce performance pay and have told the police union some officers are overpaid by up to 20 per cent.

Rank-based and general salary increases would be scrapped and performance-based pay introduced.

However, Police appear to have a fight on their hands with the Police Association telling members in a letter this week that it is "not prepared to trade".

Pay round negotiations are currently underway with the association.

In a letter obtained by Labour, association president Greg O'Connor said Police considered officers in bands A to D, as well as constables, were overpaid by as much as 20 per cent.

Police had funding for a three-year term and were offering lump sums and general adjustments to buy conditions off existing members, he warned.

Police also wanted to redefine remuneration structures so the majority of officers were restricted on about the middle of the proposed pay bands.

"This would generate significant savings for them from 2015 onwards with new constables employed on much lower remuneration, existing staff frozen on their 2015 remuneration until proposed new rates catch up with them, which could be for 10 years or more, and a number of existing allowances removed for new staff."

The association did not believe staff were overpaid and did not agree with performance pay, which was tried for 11 years under both National and Labour governments, O'Connor told members.

"We aren't prepared to sell out our future members."

Sworn officers would also have to work five hours instead of three before they got time off in lieu, he said.

The association was seeking a modest general adjustment over a two or three year period to reflect inflation and the current economic environment, members were told.

Labour's police spokesman Kris Faafoi said the offer showed the pressure frontline police were under because of the Government's budget freeze.

"They are trying to get rid of any pay increase for police as they go up the ladder."

Performance pay would be difficult to implement, he said.

"It didn't work in the past and that's why it was scrapped in 2003. It will be step backwards to go down that road."

A Police National Headquarters spokeswoman said the description of the Police offer in the association's letter was inaccurate.

"However, in the spirit of good faith bargaining, Police are unable to publicly discuss (the matter) any further at this stage."

O'Connor also said he couldn't discuss negotiations.

"This was never meant to go to the media and we can't conduct our negotiations through the media. We are conducting good faith negotiations."

A spokesman for Police Minister Anne Tolley said it was inappropriate for the minister to comment on wage negotiations.

POLICE PAY

*During training, police officer recruits earn $35,417 a year (total package $39,321, which includes benefits such as compulsory superannuation).

*New graduates start on $51,815 a year (total package $58,004, which includes benefits such as superannuation and payment for passing their Physical Competency Test).

*With two years' service and on completion of their probationary period, police officers earn on average $70,674.

*After five years, this increases to an average of  $76,141.

Source: Careers NZ

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