Some police officers have raised dissatisfaction on the implementation of Government Remuneration Tribunal (GRT) claiming it might negatively impact the security in Vanuatu.
After receiving a letter from the Police Commissioner, Albert Nalpini this week, police officers (lower ranking officers who did not want their names revealed) said that they have had all entitlements removed with an increase that is not making any difference in their wages.
The unhappy police officers said that in their letters from the Commissioner, he said that the GRT report makes a major determination that covers sworn police officers (Determination 15 of 2017).
The result of Determination 15 will be an overall increase in salary of VPF members to reflect market rates and to recognize the complexities and unique nature of policing work, they were told.
The determination also requires that job-related allowances (JRAs) and take-home entitlements are incorporated into salary and are no longer paid as a separate entitlement.
The GRT determination established that any salary adjustment will be in accordance with performance guidelines and budget availability.
And the review of the salary increments will occur every three years rather than annually as in the previous situation.
The police force allowances that GRT has decided to remove are job-related allowances and other ‘take-home pay entitlements’ will cease and are to be absorbed into the revised salary rates.
But some police officers said that according to the new structure, the job related allowances that included the detective allowance, drivers allowance, instructor allowance, musician allowance, prosecutors allowance, tradesmen’s allowance, traffic examiners allowance, Sergeant allowance were all wiped out from their entitlements.
They said that the take-home pay entitlements that were also taken from them are child allowances and housing allowances.
The are concerned that some of them will be affected with the change, especially the lowest paid in the force.
They said that the senior police officers will benefit from the new structure but it is a disaster to the police constables and the lowest rank within the VPF.
Some of the police said that they have put their lives in the line every day for citizens.
They said that they are risking their lives for civilians who they don't even know and attending dangerous situations.
They deal with drug cases and burglars, rapists and murderers.
They get assaulted by criminals in which they claimed as a hard and dangerous job in life.
When Daily Post gauged the view of some members of the public in town yesterday for their view, they appealed for a significant increase on the Police wages.
Meanwhile Internal Affairs Minister Andrew Napuat said that he had reminded Commissioner Nalpini more than three times and Commander South, Jackson Noal, of any issue that may arise on the beginning of GRT pay that commences today.
The Minister said that he welcomes comments and anyone who is affected by the GRT claiming if there is any dissatisfaction that may have caused by that new structure then it is a top priority to deal with it.
He encouraged the unhappy police officers to talk to their superiors or to step into his office.
Meanwhile, teachers within the schools in Vanuatu told Daily Post yesterday that they are also affected.
They said that GRT is likely to affect teaching not only in Port Vila but Vanuatu as a whole.
The teachers said that none of them are happy with this new structure that is only benefiting the senior officers.
They are appealing to the government to revisit or hold GRT for now pending a wider consultation.