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Two officers sue Police Service for reduced pay

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Administration Police graduates in parade match during their pass-out ceremony at AP Training College. PHOTO | BILLY MUTAI | NMG

Two police officers have sued the National Police Service Commission (NPSC) over the reduction of their salaries following the abolishment of graduate constables.

Meshack Mutukho and John Kariuki, who are attached to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) argue that the reduction of their salaries as reflected in their November salaries is discriminatory and illegal.

Three years ago, the commission downgraded salaries of graduate police constables, who were being paid salaries of job group J equivalent to the rank of inspector, after the formulation and approval of the career progression guidelines in 2016.

The officers moved to the High Court in 2018 and successfully argued for the reinstatement of their reduced salaries.

Last month, the commission reduced the salaries and explained that there was no rank known as graduate constable, a decision that led to protests.

An inspector earns a basic salary of Sh57,300, which includes officers who graduated before 2016 while non-graduate 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 group also gets risk allowances of Sh11,000 while the Constables in job group F get Sh9,000 monthly. Inspectors and constables also earn a flat rate of Sh4,000 as commuter allowance.

Mr Mutukho’s salary has been reduced from 95,250 to Sh51,000 and the title graduate constable scrapped. He was also moved from job group ‘J’ to ‘F’.

The duo said they joined the police service in 2013 after completing university studies and were posted to the DCI in 2014 under job group J.

They revealed that they had an annual salary increment of Sh1,700 but it was stopped briefly in 2018 before it was restored.

All was well until November this year when the salary was slashed and they were downgraded to job group F.

The changes, they said in the petition, affect all the graduate officers who were recruited in 2013 and have not been promoted to the ranks of inspector.

“There was no communication that their salaries would be reduced, yet they have other commitments. They had a legitimate expectation that they are eligible for an increment as it happened previously,” their lawyer Danstan Omari argued.

They want the court to order the NPSC and the Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai to restore their reduced salary and the job group. They also want the commission barred from further reducing their salaries.

“It is irrational for the 1st respondent to come up with a decision to have the salary of graduate officers in 2013 reduced without informing or consulting them,” Mr Matukho, a graduate of Egerton University said.

He further said it is unreasonable and discriminatory to accord graduate officers a similar treatment to that of officers who are not graduates.

The officers argued that unless stopped by the court, they will suffer as a result of the unilateral decision.

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