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Pay hike puts police at top of public workers scale

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, October 15, 2009) – Policemen and women in the country are expected to get a big pay rise.

The Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC) had every reason to celebrate yesterday as they prepare to receive another increase, this time by 5 per cent. It’s the first increase since 2006 to their salaries and allowances.

Commissioner Gari Baki when making a speech yesterday stressed that the increment was taxpayers money which the Government and people of Papua New Guinea were paying to them and therefore issued a stern warning to commanders that there would be "zero tolerance’’ for misbehaviour by any member of the force.

Before the 2006 increase a constable’s start-off salary was K8391 [US$3, 300] a year (K322 per fortnight). After the increase, they were paid K12, 811 [US$5, 000] a year (K492 gross), an increase of K4000.

[PIR editor’s note: According to The National, the pay hike makes Papua New Guinea police the highest paid public servants in the country. ]

A superintendent was receiving K27, 781 a year, which was later increased to K37, 000 in a year, an increase of K10, 000.

Senior inspectors were on K23, 133 a year and later received K29, 020 while chief sergeants moved from K18, 336 to K23,363 an increase of K5000. The 5 per cent increases will be made known sometime today.

Police Association spokeman Chris Kanau said by 2010 constables should be able to receive K700 per fortnight.

The new pay agreement will be effective from July 1, 2008 till the end of 2010.

A pay rise over the two year period with fully funded life insurance cover and medical benefits and a home ownership scheme will be included.

Performance-based increases will cover contract allowances for all senior officers including provincial police commanders of large provinces and metropolitan areas and directors of support branches to be signed later in the year.

Some of the new conditions by the Police Association will include compulsory life cover for all uniform and civilian members; life cover for spouses; height allowance for riggers and communication technicians; remote location allowances; mining and hardship allowance; special domestic market allowances; increase to all specialist skill-based jobs; recognition of union officials and adoption of proper grievance settlement procedures in the RPNGC.

The signing of the agreement is to award policemen new and improved conditions after what is seen as a general breakdown in discipline, command and control of the force.

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