POLICEMEN and policewomen are now the highest paid public servants in Papua New Guinea, Police Commissioner Gari Baki has said.
This was revealed during the signing of the memorandum of agreement between the Police Association and Mr Baki at police headquarters in Port Moresby to formalise salary and allowance increments for the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC).
The agreement will come into effect at a later date.
The pay will be backdated to July 1, last year, and RPNGC understands that the process would be lengthy, however, it hopes it would come into effect immediately or by the end of the year, deputy administrator Tom Kulunga said yesterday afternoon.
Although it was not specified how much the increase would be, Mr Kulunga said the percentage increase was going to be “good”.
Police Association general secretary Clemence Kanau, in the meantime, described the signing as a milestone for the constabulary.
The new agreement would cover:
*Compulsory life cover 24 hours seven days for all uniform and civilian employees of police;
*Life cover for spouses;
*Height allowance for riggers and communication technicians;
*Remote location allowance for police serving in remote locations in PNG;
*Mining hardships allowance for members serving in mining sites or provinces;
*Rabaul obnoxious and inconvenience allowance for police serving in Rabaul;
*Special domestic market allowance for all specialists;
*General increase in salary across the board with and aim to increase police constable’s lowest rank to K700 per fortnight by 2010; and
*Increase in all specialist skills-based jobs and work allowance.
Meanwhile, Mr Baki also issued instructions on a zero tolerance of misbehaviour by any members of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary.
“As of today I will be issuing instructions to commanders on zero tolerance for misbehaviour by any member of the constabulary, meaning, any member of the constabulary who misbehaves would be instantly and automatically dismissed,” he said.
Mr Baki said he would hold each commander personally responsible for the actions of their subordinates.
“Commanders, supervisors and NCOs will be held responsible for the misconduct of their members.
“I challenge all members of the constabulary to shape up, tune in and march to beat,” Mr Baki said.
He said what ended yesterday was the beginning of a lengthy process of negotiations and consultation following the police administration review conducted in 2004.
“The police administration review was initiated by the Somare Government under the leadership of former minister for internal security Bire Kimisopa, following what was seen then as a break-down in discipline, command and control of members of the constabulary, increase in police abuse instances and a huge drop in service delivery as far as policing service goes,” Mr Baki said.