Meagre pay rise fails to impress policemen

Police officers unblock Kisii Sotik Highway at Bobaracho shopping center on 11/9/2018.The matatu operators had blocked the busy highway for over 2 hours while venting their anger on what they termed excessive taxation by Kisii County government..It took intervention of police officers to clear the road. [Photo Sammy Omingo/Standard]

A silent protest is brewing in the police service over a paltry salary increase implemented in July.

According to the new pay structure, the lowest paid officer will now earn Sh19,290, an increment of only Sh529.

Overall, the increment ranges from Sh529 to Sh2,000, depending on rank and years of service.

Officers in the lower cadres will get a three per cent increase while those in the higher ones will receive two per cent in the second phase.

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The increment has drawn criticism from many officers, who said it was too little.

Insiders said the increment followed crisis meetings by the National Police Service Commission (NPSC). The Treasury and the Salaries and Remuneration Commission were also involved.

Phase two

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In a circular to the National Police Service, the National Police Service Commission said phase two of the new salary scale had been implemented with effect from July 1, 2018.

“The new salaries will apply to uniformed officers in the National Police Service in police grades 1 to 12 who are in the service on or after July 1, 2018,” said a memo signed by NPSC CEO Joseph Onyango.

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The first phase of the increment was implemented last year in July and the most junior officer received an increase of Sh1,500.

The increase is for officers in both the National Police Service and the Kenya Prisons Service.

The announcement of the pay increase, made three days to last year's General Election, failed to impress junior officers, who termed it an insult as it did not meet their expectations. They said it was not commensurate with the work they do.

Policemen's salaries vary depending on experience. Allowances also differ.

Job grades

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The National Police Service has 12 job grades and the civil service has 19 pay scales.

Constables, the lowest-ranked and who are the majority, are in scale PG 1 while senior officers fall in PG 12.

In the new pay, a constable who has been earning Sh18,760 will get Sh19,290 while a senior assistant inspector general will get Sh188,090, up from Sh185,760.

A corporal who has been earning Sh24,440 will get Sh25,120, a sergeant who has been earning Sh33,560 will now get Sh34,470 while a senior sergeant who has been getting Sh37,100 will now earn Sh38,110.

An inspector will now earn Sh40,640, up from Sh39,630, and chief inspector will get Sh47,760 up from Sh43,750.

An assistant superintendent will earn Sh50,700, up from Sh49,690, while a superintendent will get Sh54,100, up from Sh53,090 and a senior superintendent will get Sh65,620, up from Sh64,690.

A commissioner of police will get a new salary of Sh102,390, up from Sh101,120, while an assistant inspector general of police will now get Sh150,170, up from Sh148,310.

A constable gets an allowance of Sh7,000, a corporal Sh7,800, a sergeant Sh8,540, a senior sergeant Sh9,000, an inspector Sh12,000, a chief inspector Sh16,000, a superintendent Sh26,500 and a senior superintendent Sh26,500.

There are 70,485 constables and 13,318 corporals. Sergeants total 4,576 and senior sergeants 1,890. Inspectors are 6,383 and chief inspectors, who make majority of officers commanding station (OCS), are 1,295.

The Government is awarding the officers other allowances recommended in reforms aimed at making the force a world-class service.

Those to receive increased allowances include officers from the Presidential Escort, GSU G Company, Flying Squad, Special Crime Prevention Unit, AP Rapid Deployment and Border Patrol units, instructors, police air wing and animal handlers.

Others will benefit when allowances that are common to the civil service, such as housing and hardship, are reviewed.

The National Task Force on Police Reforms, which set targets for the increases, had recommended that the entry salary for a police constable be raised to Sh34,000. Police officers encounter many challenges, including poor pay, inadequate housing, poor training and low morale.


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