A legal battle is looming between the National Police Service and graduate constables as the institution seeks to overturn a court’s decision directing it to promote the officers and remunerate them accordingly upon graduation.
NPS, together with the National Police Service Commission, has indicated that it will appeal a decision issued this week by the Employment and Labour Relations Court.
Justice Byram Ongaya ruled that NPS was discriminating against police constables who have acquired degree certificates after joining the service.
The judge directed that the officers be immediately moved from Job Group F to J in the rank of inspector.
But in a statement, NPS said the decision is not tenable because, “If (the) 1,774 graduate non-commissioned officers excluding 335 prison officers are paid as inspectors of police in Job Group J as ordered by the court, it would have serious financial implication on the budget since the government will require Sh928 million annually to service the new wage bill for services not rendered.”
Inspector-General of Police Hilary Mutyambai said the judgment represents great legal and financial implications.
“The National Police Service, being a disciplined service, cannot function effectively with a distorted command where the inspectorate rank overshoots the establishment whose net effect is a command structure distorted at the middle,” he said.
The IG added that the principle of equal pay for equal work requires that remuneration is linked to function and therefore police officers performing lower functions cannot claim remuneration of an inspector just by virtue of a university degree without acquiring the requisite training and experience for promotion to such ranks.
Five police officers — Evans Muriuki, Ruth Odikara, David Ochom, Linet Wandia Njagi and George Barasa — filed the case, accusing NPS of discrimination.
Mr Muriuki holds a bachelor of arts in economics and history from Egerton University while Ms Odikara has a degree in criminology and security studies from the same university.
A constable’s earns a total of Sh35,310, but a graduate police constable earns about Sh100,386.