Should Police be subject to a performance pay scheme? No. There are a number of arguments supporting rewarding a person for excellence or for doing a great job and many try to translate the usual private practice of introducing KPI’s to measure performance and structure pay increases around the attainment of those KPI’s. The Public Sector is not the same as Private Sector with different rights and obligations attaching to individuals and state agents, and the government should recognise this.
What is the rationale for introducing performance pay? The goddam surplus. Is the proposed system to reward Police for doing a good job? No, it’s a system designed to pay Police as little as possible with minimum increases in their pay as they move up the ranks. This largely affects new recruits and frontline staff. Moreover,performance pay systems for Police were tried and failed. No kidding. So why keep flogging a dead horse?
Duringtraining, police officer recruits earn $35,417 a year (total package $39,321,which includes benefits such as compulsory superannuation). New graduates starton $51,815 a year (total package $58,004, which includes benefits such as superannuationand payment for passing their Physical Competency Test). With two years'service and on completion of their probationary period, police officers earn onaverage $70,674. After five years, this increases to an average of $76,141.
What are the targets that would be set for Police in order to meet their KPI’s and to receive a pay increase? The inherent nature of their role affects the rights of individuals.In comments I made to friends, I was accused of being a leftist advocate and inciting moral panic. But how much value do you place on your rights? I’m certainly not keen to see Police receive pay increases based on targets that couldpotentially impact on the right of the individual and in fact, can’t even beginto comprehend how those targets might be set. Also, there is no private sector role synonymous with Policing, so no relevant transferable model from which to structure a Police performance system. Additionally, introducing performance measures given the unpredictability of Policing and the multiple functions of their role would make it extremely difficult for Police to meet the targets, since much of what they do or do not achieve would be out of their control – their duty to the public and their professional obligations to the service are often in conflict. The only measures that could be put in place would be around the standard of work within the Office, yet the part of a Police Officers role that is most important is the work they do in the community, this is largely autonomous work with a great deal of discretion in order to protect the rights of individuals. How is that to be measured?
I’m not here condoning all Police action, since clearly there have been a number of instances where their conduct has been questionable, but I do not believe that a performance pay system is good for the Police or for the public.