The Federal Government has just published a report showing the pay of Australian police officers has not kept pace with the cost of the Australian Defence Force’s armed forces.
The report, entitled “Wage Growth and Inequality in the Police Force” released on Wednesday, is based on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
It shows the average pay for a full-time police officer in NSW in 2018 was $71,000 a year, compared with $68,000 for the Australian Armed Forces.
That is a drop of 4.3 per cent in pay since 2010, when the Government made its first official determination that the Government’s “cost of living” index should be applied to the public service.
The average pay of a full time police officer is $71.00 a year in NSW, according to the Australian Taxation Office.
That compares with $67,600 for the British Army, $66,000 to $63,400 for the US Army, and $62,700 for the New Zealand Defence Force.
But it is only in Victoria, where the Commonwealth is the largest employer, where full time salaries are more than five times higher than in the rest of the states.
The pay gap between police officers and the rest has widened since 2010.
There were more than 1.5 million full time paid police officers in Victoria in 2018, while in NSW there were more 1.1 million, or about 4.5 per cent of the workforce.
The study said that over the past five years, the cost per police officer was rising, while the overall wage growth rate was falling.
The gap between pay for full- and part-time paid police workers has widened in the past 10 years, to 2.4 per cent.
The increase in the cost over the years “suggests a substantial mismatch between pay growth and growth in the wages of the overall public service,” the report said.
The rise in the rate of pay growth over the five years was “the most notable increase in this time period”.
The report also found that there were increases in the number of full-timers in NSW over the same time period.
But the report also highlighted some notable pay rises that were missed by the public.
The “cost growth” rate of full time pay in NSW for full time and part time paid staff was 0.3 percentage points higher in 2018 than it was in 2010.
The difference was almost two percentage points when the “cost” is measured in terms of the average salary for full and part staff.
The ABS also found some differences in how people in different professions were paid.
For example, people working in the mining and quarrying industry were paid about $6.90 an hour less than their counterparts in the medical and dental professions, but they were paid $9.20 less than those in the construction industry.
A total of $21.7 million in public money was spent in NSW to pay police salaries in 2017-18, with $18.6 million going towards paying salaries for full staff.