DISPARITY

Junior cops protest salary cuts in degrees row

About 1,000 officers claim Sh30,000 deductions in November pay slips

In Summary
  • An Inspector of police earns a basic salary of Sh57,300  while the non graduate in job group F earns a basic of Sh31,000.
  • They also enjoy a monthly house allowance of Sh24,950 while those in the constable rank earn Sh14,300.
Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai
PAY ROW: Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai
Image: NPS

Some junior police officers have protested the move by their employer to slash their salaries in a row over graduates in the service.

The group of about 1,000 say they had received their November pay slips which indicate about Sh30,000 had been reduced from their pay.

This follows a protracted row over graduate police constables, who were earning a salary of the rank of an inspector.

“We had loans on the salaries and reducing the same without even a warning is killing us,” an officer said.

They plan to go back to court over the matter.

An inspector of police earns a basic salary of Sh57,300 and this includes the officers who graduated before 2016, while the non-graduates in job group F earn a basic of Sh31,000.

They also enjoy a monthly house allowance of Sh24,950, while those in the constable rank earn Sh14,300.

The officers in the job group also get risk allowances of Sh11,000, while the constables in job group F pocket Sh9,000 monthly. Under the same pack, the inspectors and constables also earn a flat rate of Sh4,000 as commuter allowance.

The group went to court in March 2018 protesting the move to have their salaries slashed and won the case.

Both the National Police Service Commission chairman Eliud Kinuthia and Inspector General of police Hillary Mutyambai refused to discuss the matter.

Kinuthia referred us to Mutyambai, who then referred us back to Kinuthia.

The commission in 2019 protested the order to pay police constables with university degrees a salary equivalent to their seniors in the rank of inspectors of police.

Kinuthia and Mutyambai released a joint statement stating that if 1,774 graduate officers, excluding 335 prison officers, are paid as inspectors of police, then it would have serious implications.

The government will require Sh928 million annually to service the new wage bill for services not rendered.

“This is not tenable. It should also be noted that at the time of recruitment, for a youth to be recruited in the service with a grade D and later convert to graduate midway, the ranking system is in practical terms denying opportunity to deserving youth with grade D who would have been recruited that year,” they said.

They said the need for graduates cannot be determined midway but only at recruitment time and therefore the new move is dishonest on the side of police officers.

They argued the IG had discovered irregular salary upgrades in the service payroll based on acquisition of degree certificates by officers without following due process.

They added there is a procedure to be followed for officers pursuing degree courses after recruitment, which include seeking approval from the service.

“Officers who acquire degrees without following the due procedures and obtaining necessary approvals cannot claim any benefits or privileges based on the same,” they said.

They argued the court relied on a press release and a 1995 letter by Gaylord Avedi, the then Permanent Secretary in the directorate of personnel without regard that the National Police Service did not exist and there are new laws in place.

Justice Byron Ongaya of the Employment and Labour Relations court then gave the State up to August 1, 2019 to comply with the order.

He said constables who are university graduates on a salary scale below job group J are entitled to a pay scale equivalent to that of an inspector of police as clarified by the commission in March 2018 and should get the pay in 60 days.

The officers in the lowest rank had in November 2018 sued NPSC, the IG and Attorney General over delayed review of their job groups.

More than 6,000 police officers in the lowest rank submitted degree certificates in different times. Only 2,500 got an upgrade from job group F to J and immediate salary increments after submitting certificates but the rest were left out.

The officers who hold degree in various disciplines said there was no good reason nor explanation as to why graduate police officers in the same rank of constables, job description and responsibilities and same qualifications were being paid differently and retained in two different job groups.

The court agreed with them that the emplacement of constables holding degree certificates to a graduate constable pay level equivalent to that of an inspector of police was a clear promise by the government in a 1995 letter and as confirmed by the NPSC.

When a second lot of officers also filed and won a similar case in 2019, the commission appealed and won the same. Officials said they are using the second ruling to effect the changes.

Edited by D Tarus