Police officers face a pay freeze

ANDREA VANCE
Last updated 13:26 20/06/2012

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Police Commissioner Peter Marshall has confirmed officers face a pay freeze.

Wage negotiations begin again tomorrow and he said that officers' pay would not be cut, but he refused to rule out no increase.

However, a freeze would mean an effective cut as wages would not rise in line with inflation.

Marshall said: ''Police officers will not be disadvantaged and I give that personal undertaking. In relation to pay and leave the same will apply. At the very least there will be no disadvantage to the officers.''

But pressed about inflationary increases he said: ''I'm talking about their current salary.''

He added:  ''Certainly, we'll have that discussion...we'll just wait and see. I made the point that there will be no disadvantage to police in terms of their current arrangements. What will [come] out of tomorrow's discussions...will remain to be seen.''

Marshall said there were no proposals to close police stations.

But he added: ''We reserve the right as part of normal business to consider the appropriateness of certain stations as we go forward.

''It's ongoing, it would be remiss of me in the context of the budget that I have... with hundreds of police stations, to not be looking. But at this stage there are no plans whatsoever, categorically, to close any police stations.''

He refused to say if competency service increments (CSI's) were safe.

Earlier this year police projected CSI increases would cost $42.5 million a year for the next four years, and a 3 per cent wage increase would cost around $75 million a year.

Marshall appeared at Parliament's law and order select committee this morning, alongside Police Minister Anne Tolley.

She would not answer questions from Labour MPs Kris Faafoi and Phil Goff on pay while negotiations were ongoing. She also declined to confirm if pay made up 70 per cent of the force's budget.

Police received no increase in May's Budget.

Goff claims police face $24m in increased costs and a $15m shortfall. But Marshall rejected his figures.

The force announced last month that 126 non-sworn posts would be cut.

However Marshall confirmed that, due to unfilled vacancies, 20 people would lose their jobs.

Police graduates start on a salary package worth about $58,000, rising to just over $76,000 after five years.

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