Incentives to attract the police of tomorrow

The Police Association of NSW applauds the announcement from the NSW Government that recruits will be paid to train to become NSW police officers.

Today, NSW Premier Chris Minns and Minister for Police Yasmin Catley announced that commencing March 2024, Student Police Officers at the Goulburn Police Academy will be paid approximately $30,000 during the 16-week study period.

Recruit pay is a hugely important strategy to attract enough police to meet the ever-increasing workload you are all managing to perform each day 

As President, I made this a focus for the Association at our Conference in May 2022, because this is needed to fix the vacancy and workload challenges. We can’t resolve those if we don’t have the boots on the ground.

The former Government failed to plan for long term recruitment challenges, but the PANSW did not give up, and today the PANSW has secured a historic win for police recruitment.

The fact that NSW Premier Chris Minns and Minister for Police Yasmin Catley worked so constructively with the PANSW to deliver this recruitment strategy shows how highly the PANSW is respected in Government and what we can achieve going forward.

“We need to once again recruit people with life experience. The only way to do this is to pay as they learn. You shouldn’t have to choose between paying a mortgage and supporting a young family or joining our job.”

President Kevin Morton at PANSW Conference May 2022.

The Police Association has been advocating to alleviate the pressures on members caused by vacancies and workload increases.

It is no secret that the number of recruits is not as high as it used to be. Without enough new police joining, there is only so much that can be done; there is no getting around it, you need boots on the ground.
NSW police officers are the best in the world. If we want to continue to attract and retain the best and brightest, we need to ensure policing remains an attractive career in NSW.

This announcement of recruit pay removes a barrier that existed: anyone considering a career in NSW Police Force had to be willing to forgo income for 16 weeks.

It takes a special kind of person to want to be a police officer, but with today’s cost of living challenges, not many of us can afford to forgo income for 16 weeks. This announcement allows people from all walks of life to consider a career in the NSW Police Force.

This announcement of recruit pay will incentivise people to join, which ultimately means more cops in local communities, and more police to help perform the huge amount of work you do every day.

Fair pay to reward the police of today

The PANSW’s primary purpose is to ensure the financial security of members.

We have built on a series of achievements to be in a strong position leading into Award 2024. 

Your PANSW has already secured improvements to reward and retain police, including:

Securing 16 weeks paid parental leave entitlements for all parents of a child

Regional incentives secured for remote and special remote locations providing up to $36k over 5 years which was previously only a $5k one off incentive

Gaining additional pay increases during the term of the Award including 4.03% in 2023 

Advocating strongly for over 86 items on reducing ‘Blue tape’ for cops to make doing the job easier with less duplication and improved technology

We have established strong bargaining positions in 2020-2023, ensuring maximum pay rises within the Government’s Wages Cap, and then setting about achieving further increases each year, including:

2023-24: a 4.5% pay rise, inclusive of 0.5% superannuation increase,

2022-23: a 3% pay rise, inclusive of 0.5% superannuation increase.

Now, with the wages cap scrapped and the PANSW participating in the Industrial Relations Taskforce with the NSW Government, Award 2024 is our turn for respect to be shown and places us in a great position to build on what we have already secured.

A decent pay rise in Award 2024 is a must for the Government to retain the hard-working men and women in blue.

The PANSW will be keeping members updated in the near future about Award 2024 progress.

Kevin Morton
Police Association of NSW