Sarah Serem’s salary commission to earn more in new Bill

SRC Chairperson Sarah Serem. [PHOTO: STANDARD]

NAIROBI, KENYA: Commissioners at the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) will get improved perks and better terms of service if an omnibus amendment Bill is passed by Parliament.

SRC Chairperson Sarah Serem and other commissioners could also be engaged to work on a full-time basis if proposals contained in the Statute Law Miscellaneous (Amendment) Bill 2014 are approved by the Legislature.

If the amendments sail through, the pay for the SRC boss and commissioners will be enhanced to be commensurate with the demanding assignments that require them to be in office daily.

"Delete and substitute therefore the following new subsection - (3) The members of the Commission shall serve - (a) in the case of the chairperson and the members appointed under Article 230(2)(b), on full-time basis," read the amendments.

Currently, the chairperson earns Sh640,000, plus a sitting allowance of Sh50,000 per session, with a maximum of eight sittings per month.

The proposals further seek to cushion the commission's chair from political intimidation directed at the office, notably by politicians. Serem particularly came under attack from legislators both at the national and county assemblies in their fight for improved pay.

Tuesday, Serem said last year they had made recommendations to the National Assembly to be allowed to work full-time, but declined to give more details on their proposals.

"I have not looked at the amendments myself but I recall we made submissions on that line last year, although they were not honoured then," she said.

The Statute Law Miscellaneous (Amendment) Bill 2014 seeks to ensure the chair and the seven other commissioners operate on a full-time basis for a non-renewable term of six years.

Interestingly, commissioners handle their other private matters, including attending to formal employment demands, and this often affects service delivery at the critical body that sets remuneration rates for State officers and public service employees.

There is one person each nominated by the Parliamentary Service Commission; Public Service Commission; Judicial Service Commission; Teachers Service Commission; National Police Service Commission; Defence Council; and the Senate, on behalf of county governments who serve as SRC commissioners.