Kenya Airways management has offered to resume contribution to the provident fund next year in what is seen as a bid to soften the stance of pilots who have served a strike notice.
KQ Chief Executive Allan Kilavuka proposed another option the provident fund resumes immediately in place of the payment of deferred 2020 and 2021 salaries.
Through communication to staff seen by Weekend in Business, Kilavuka said the airline does not have enough cash-flow to pay into the fund, which is equally contributed by the staff for retirement or when they leave employment.
He said the management had prioritised payment of the deferred portion of salaries accrued during the Covid-19 period. “In this regard, we are paying the 2021 portion until November 2022,” he said, adding that the human resource department would advise on how the business will pay the 2020 deferred portion, which may commence in December this year.
This is subject to affordability and cash availability, which is dependent on a network devoid of disruptions.
“After that, and going by projections in the first half of 2023, we shall resume provident fund contributions in quarter three of 2023,” said Kilavuka in the staff message dated October 28, 2022.
“However, if staff feel otherwise, we could suspend the payment of deferred pay and resume the provident fund.” The fund is one of the issues tabled by the Kenya Airline Pilots Association (Kalpa), which represents about 400 pilots.
Kilavuka maintained that Kalpa had not exhausted all avenues of discussion, noting that the representatives also did not act in good faith as they want their demands met without negotiations.
This happened during a meeting organised by the Central Organisation of Trade Unions, which sought to find a solution to the impending strike.