The National Police Service Commission (NPSC) has abolished the rank of “Graduate Constable” and issued new directives on promotions.
This follows a protracted court battle between the NPSC and the officers that saw more than 1,000 have their pay slashed when their ranks were dropped from inspector of police to constable on November 17.
Under the inspector rank, the officers used to get a monthly salary of Sh57,300, house allowance of Sh24,950, Sh4,000 commuter allowance and a risk allowance of Sh11,000 until October, when their pay was reduced to what is earned by ordinary constables.
The commission says a university degree or other qualification obtained by a member of the service shall not lead to automatic salary upgrade or promotion.
“The 1995 authority letter on graduate constables applied to a specific category of officers and was superseded by the promulgation of the Constitution in August 2010, which established a commission and the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC),” the directive reads.
Consequently, salary upgrades made and effected for graduate constables and non-commissioned officers after September 23 – the date of the ruling – are deemed irregular.
The commission added that it would undertake measures to remedy the upgraded irregular payments.
It said entry to the service shall be as provided by regulation 4 of the NPSC (Recruitment and Appointment) Regulations (2015).
“Any person who joins the service as a constable shall, regardless of their academic qualifications, rise through the ranks as provided in the aforementioned regulation and in the career progression guidelines for NPS Uniformed personnel (2016),” the directive says.
The NPSC, however, added that it would develop a non-promotional and non-financial reward scheme and eligibility criteria for officers who acquire degrees and other certificates relevant to police work.
“The commission in consultation with the service shall develop alternative avenues for career development as established in regulation 12 (2) of the promotions regulations,” the directive says.
“This, however, should not be construed to mean that officers who obtain university degrees will automatically receive higher pay without actual promotion.”
Officers will be required to undertake courses relevant to police work with prior course approval as provided in the Policy on Training and Development to be eligible for consideration for the non-promotional rewards.
The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) Human Resource office in a memo to personnel across the country told the officers to abide by the directives “in respect to entrenching the principle of equal pay for equal work”.
DCI Human Resource head, Mwangi Wanderi, said the directive would ensure optimum establishment and command structure of the service, enhance discipline, facilitate ease of pension benefits processing and provide a framework for upgrading salary.
The decision comes after the High Court issued an order stopping the NPSC from reducing graduate constables’ pay following a suit filed by two DCI officers.
The case will be heard on February 22.
Through their lawyer Danstan Omari, the officers – John Kariuki and Meshack Mutukho – say they joined the service after a successful recruitment in 2013.
They were then admitted to the Kenya Police College in Kiganjo, Nyeri County.
“The applicants joined the service as graduates after completing undergraduate studies. They were posted to the DCI offices in 2014 where they have been carrying out their duties as general investigators in Job Group J,” Mr Omari says in the suit documents.
The papers add that the two had been getting Sh1,700 raise every year until March 2018 when their basic pay was reduced to that of colleagues in Job Group F.
Their Job Group J salaries were restored in April 2018, which they continued to receive until last month when it was slashed.
“There was no communication that the IG and the commission would reduce the applicants’ pay,” Mr Omari says.
“Unless the orders sought are granted, the applicants will suffer damages as a result of the decision.”