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Civil servants’ union officials reject new salary grades

By Luke Anami | February 8th 2017
Charles Mukwaya deputy secretary general (right), Tom Odege (centre) National Chairman TUC and Jerry Olekina (left) deputy secretary general union of Kenya civil servants. PHOTO by WILBERFORCE OKWIRI

Representatives of civil servants have told their employer to explain new salary grades for the public service or face court action.

Kenya Union of Civil Servants has threatened to stop the implementation of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) circular until the Public Service Commission explains how it will impact the workers.

Union’s secretary general Tom Odege has given the Public Service Commission (PSC) seven days to explain the circular abolishing the current grading system and proposing the implementation of a new one.

“It has taken five years for SRC to come up with a new salary and grading structure. Even after releasing the details to the employer, the PSC, no one has bothered to explain to us the contents,” he said.

The union boss complained that neither PSC nor SRC had advised them on the implications of the changes and threatened to take the matter to the Industrial Court.

“We are giving PSC seven days from today (Tuesday) to analyse and communicate to the beneficiaries, otherwise we will stop the implementation of this letter,” said Odege who was flanked by his deputy Jerry ole Kina and deputy national treasurer Rehema Ibrahim.

Odege was reacting to a letter dated December 6, 2017 by SRC chairperson Sarah Serem, addressed to PSC chairperson Prof Margaret Kobia, which indicated that the least paid civil servant in Job Grade B1 will take home Sh11,553.

Under the new salary structure, the civil service grades have been changed from the previous job groups A to U to a new symbol structure whose highest grade is E4 while the lowest is B1.

The new pay structure is to be implemented in four annual equal phases with effect from July 1, 2017.

“We have only read the new salary structure in the media and we are not happy that as the union representing the employees, no one has bothered to explain it to us. ,” he said.

“What SRC has done is too late. Improving pay for the lowest workers at job group A at Sh 8,000 to Sh 11,000 in Grade B1 for the next four years is not sustainable. It cannot withstand the minimum wage in two years.”

He said he has received complaints over the new structure.

“There are people who may find that their income has been reduced. A regional commander is being ranked higher than a director in the Office of the President yet it is the director who recommends his (commander) position,” Odege said.

“Before this circular is fully implemented it must be subjected to full interrogation.”

In the circular to the PSC, Mrs Serem indicated that the new salary structure will also form the basis for all union-generated Collective Bargaining Agreements negotiations involving civil servants.

“The employing agencies in the public service are advised to use this salary structure for negotiating Collective Bargaining Agreements with their respective unions within the framework of the implementation matrix,” she said.

“The new grading structure and respective basic salary structure supersedes the existing basic salary structure for the civil service.”

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