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Civil servants set for salary, grades review in new scheme

All the 170,000 civil servants should brace themselves for a raft of changes which have merged some job groups and enhanced salaries and allowances of some cadres.

The changes include salary review, new job grades, recruitment of new staff on contract as well as mandatory pension contribution.

Following a civil service job evaluation by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (CRA), multiple sources have indicated the changes are being implemented beginning this month.

National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said they had already factored the changes in the new budget because of the job grades review in the 2019/20 financial year.

“The cost implication is not big and we have it in our budget. This is part of the government effort to improve the working conditions for government employees,” said Rotich.

Documents seen by the Saturday Standard indicate that all civil servants in job groups G-T will will get higher salaries at the end of this month as the pay hike was supposed to take effect from July 1.

According to the government documents, the SRC conducted a job evaluation exercise in the public service and recommended a salary review for the civil servants.

Four phases

“The review was implemented in the four phases taking into consideration affordability within a sustainable fiscal framework,” reads an SRC circular.

According to the documents, phases I and II that covered all job groups from A to T were implemented in the national government with effect from July 2017 and 2018, respectively.

“Phase II of the salary review which form appendices to this circular will be implemented for job groups G-T with effect from July 1, 2019. The new salaries will apply to those who are in service,” the papers say.

This means at the end of this month an officer in job group Q currently earning Sh97,320 will get Sh98,500, translating to an additional Sh1,180. The senior most officer in this category will earn Sh132,000, up from Sh130,420.

From the government papers, it is not clear how much has been increased for job groups G-P, although there are indications that the lowest pay in job group G will be Sh21,500 and the highest Sh28,970.

Consequently, for officers serving in job group H, which is the entry point for diploma holders, the lowest salary is Sh24,580 while the highest is Sh32,760.

Civil servants in job group K, which is the entry point for university degree holders, will earn Sh37,070 while the highest is Sh40,60.

The lowest cadres in job groups A and B have reason to celebrate because their cadres have been scrapped, meaning they will be merged with Job group C whose entry salary is Sh13,830.

Before the scrapping of the lowest grades, employees in job group A and B have been earning a minimum Sh13,280 and a maximum of Sh14,150, while in job group B the least pay has been Sh13,530 and the highest Sh14,610.

We have also established that the current 21 job tiers in the civil service has been compressed into 17 tiers, where some of the lowest ranked civil servants will automatically move to the new grades.

The support staff previously scattered in Job groups A, B and C meant for unskilled and semi-skilled, have now been merged into Grade C, which will be known as CG 17 whose salary guideline has been given as Sh13,280 for the lowest and Sh15,100 for the highest.

Drivers, artisans and cleaning supervisors whose role has been described as automatic decisions will operate in a new band called CG 16, whose entry pint is Sh14,610 to Sh15,120.

The Head of Public Service who is the highest in this sector in job group V will be in category CG 1 but his remunerations have not been disclosed, just as those of Principal Secretaries and Principal Administrative Secretaries who are ranked as top management executives.

The government has also issued a guideline for house and commuter allowances.

The low cadre officers in CG 17 will get a house allowance of Sh3,750 in Nairobi, Sh3,125 in Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, Nyeri, Thika, Kisii, Malindi and Kitale. Those working in other former municipalities will take home Sh2,500 while others will get Sh2,250.

They will also get a commuter allowance of Sh3,000. This allowance will cover all those in job groups CG17-CG14.

On the other hand, senior civil servants in CG4 will take home a standard house allowance of Sh80,000 regardless of where one is based and and a uniform commuter allowance of Sh24,000.

Grey areas

Reacting to these developments, Union of Kenya Civil Servants First Deputy Secretary General Jerry Saroli ole Kina said they would seek audience with Public Service Cabinet Secretary Margaret Kobia for clarification.

“There are very many grey areas. We do not know how the new grading will affect our members. We have already booked an appointment for next week,” Kina said.

He said civil servants have been waiting for the implementation of the third phase of the salary increment but were disappointed that there has been a very slight hike.

He said the slight salary adjustments could not be termed as a pay hike, and gave an example of officers in job group Q whose salary has been increased from Sh97,000 to Sh98,000.

“When increments like these happen, at times the recipients only end up suffering because they jump to a new tax bracket where you lose more than you gained,” said Kina.

The salary and job review comes hot on the heels of a series of new measures, which are being implemented from this month.

At the end of this month, civil servants will start contributing towards their pension, unlike in the past when the government was shouldering the responsibilities.  

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