What you need to know:
- The government has been ordered to reinstate higher pay for 1,000 graduate police officers whose salary was cut after a review of ranks.
- When they received their November 2021 salaries, the officers were shocked when they saw their pay slips read as low as Sh455.10. Others received negative salaries.
- The court said there was no attempt by the commission to give notice or any sort of hearing opportunity to the officers before effecting the demotions.
The government has been ordered to reinstate higher pay for 1,000 graduate police officers whose salary was cut after a review of ranks.
Justice Mathew Nduma Nderi of the Employment and Labour Relations Court directed the Inspector-General of Police and the National Police Service Commission (NPSC) to continue paying graduate officers the consolidated salary equivalent to that of individuals in Job Group “J” that they were earning prior to the “unilateral, unreasonable, and unlawful” decision to reduce their pay.
“An order prohibiting the first and second respondents, either by themselves, their agents, or servants, from in any manner reducing graduate officers’ pay, the subject of this application, from Job Group “J” to Job Group “F”, as in the letter dated November 17, 2021, issued by the 1st respondent, is issued,” Justice Nderi said.
When they received their November 2021 salaries, the officers were shocked when they saw their pay slips read as low as Sh455.10. Others received negative salaries.
For instance, one of the officers in Nairobi was earning a basic salary of Sh62,000, house allowance (Sh 24,000), commuter allowance (Sh4,000) and a risk allowance of Sh11,000.
Following the review, the officer’s basic salary was cut to Sh34,000, a house allowance of Sh9,000, a commuter allowance of Sh3,000 and a risk allowance of Sh9,000.
The court said there was no attempt by the commission to give notice or any sort of hearing opportunity to the officers before effecting the demotions.
“As a matter of fact, the respondents make no pretence or any apologies regarding their failure to involve the applicants before making the very adverse decision against them.
“The decision was arbitrary, unreasonable, unlawful, and a blatant violation of the accrued rights of the applicants from the date of their recruitment to when they were demoted for no good cause and their remuneration reduced, to their great loss and detriment,” the court stated.
The pay cut affected officers drawn from the General Service Unit, Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), and general duty officers who were being paid salaries equivalent to the rank of inspector but were downgraded to the rank of constable.
The National Police Service argued that the slashing of the salaries was informed by the amendment of the NPSC Act 3 of 2014, which allowed the commission, on the recommendation of the IG, to review all matters relating to the human resource policies of members of the service.
The amendment also allows the commission, with the advice of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission, to determine the appropriate remuneration and benefits for the staff.
However, Justice Nderi said both the IG and the NPSC relied on the said provisions to justify the reduction in rank and salary of the applicants, yet they were appointed prior to the review of the Act.
“It is also apparent that some of the applicants were employed on the so-called graduate terms before the coming into effect of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010, which established the first and second respondents,” the ruling added.
The judgment yesterday by the court is a big win for the officers after nearly a year of fighting for the reinstatement of their salaries.