Salaries and Remuneration Commission approves Sh2.6 billion pay rise for civil servants


Salaries and Remuneration Commission Chairperson Sarah Serem and Vice Chairperson Daniel Ogutu address journalists yesterday on State officers salary reviews. [David Njaaga, Standard]

Civil servants will be paid Sh2.6 billion this month in a salary increase based on the old job grading system.

This follows resistance to the new grading system referred to as Patterson and formulated by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC), which union leaders have argued is unfair to certain job groups.

The commission has signalled Treasury to release the Sh2.6 billion to pay phase one of the Sh5.3 billion increase.

The amount factored in the new pay includes the SRC's salary increment in March following a job evaluation exercise as well as the recently signed collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between civil servants and the Union of Civil Servants.

In a letter by SRC dated July 13 and addressed to National Treasury Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge, and copied to chief of Staff and Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua as well as Public Service Commission CEO Alice Otwala, the commission approved the release of Sh2.6 billion to be paid to workers starting this July.

Amount included

The amount includes an additional Sh1.5 billion, which the ministry sought following the signing of a CBA that increased the salaries of more than 132,000 unionisable workers.

"The commission, in consultation with the implementing agencies, PSC, and Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs, proposes an implementation modality that ensures the review incorporates the statutory minimum wage and the collective bargaining agreement signed with the Union of Civil Servants," said Bernard Motieri for SRC.

"In this regard, the National Treasury is requested to release Sh2,606,652,552 of the total allocation of Sh5.3 billion to cover phase I of the salary review in the Financial Year 2017-2018 with effect from 1st July 2017."

Mr Motieri explained the additional funding would be used to pay workers in job groups A to T.

"The commission acknowledges additional funding of Sh1.5 billion to implement a phased salary review for civil servants in the national government in jobs groupd A to T, raising the total allocations to Sh5.36 billion."

The amount will be paid awaiting harmonisation of the commission's new pay structure favoured by civil servants.

Graded jobs

The SRC has graded jobs in the entire public service into 19 categories, with the lowest employee in grade B1 earning a minimum of Sh14,442 and top earners in E4 getting a starting salary of Sh292,765 a month.

But the union has rejected the new grading system in favour of the current civil service grading system, which has 18 categories  - A to T.

The Union of Civil Servants argues that the SRC grading system reduced their pay in a number of grades and therefore could not be used to allocate the new pay.

"We rejected the SRC's new grading system for creating confusion in the grading of our workers," said Jerry ole Kina, acting secretary general of the union.

The union has contested SRC's job grading structure, accusing it of allocating similar pay for workers in job groups K, L and M.

Further, the union argues a CBA is for a two-year cycle, not four years as proposed by SRC.

Even though SRC figures in the lowest category are higher than those used in the current structure, the civil servants argued that progression in the current structure was clearer than SRC's grading system.