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Good times ahead for civil servants as Treasury gives Sh100b for pay rise

COUNTIES
By Luke Anami | February 10th 2017
Kenya's Finance Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich at the 2nd German-African Business Summit (GABS) at the Intercontinental hotel,Nairobi. Photo/ELVIS OGINA (NAIROBI) FEBRUARY 9TH,2017

Close to 600,000 civil servants will from July 1 receive a pay raise after the Cabinet approved a Sh100 billion budgetary increase.

A Cabinet meeting chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday approved the allocation to cater for public sector allowances and salaries harmonisation. The Cabinet also approved funds for the recruitment of 10,000 police officers and 5,000 teachers.

The increment follows the job evaluation (JE) conducted by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC), which recommended a new salary and grading structure for civil servants across the board.

The JE also harmonised salary grades across the entire civil service pay structure.

The allocation will see workers at both the national and county government benefit from the new SRC grading structure, a move geared towards making the civil service more attractive unlike in the previous structure where many got stuck and promotions were dished out based on nepotism, tribalism, and less on the qualifications of the job holders.

“The proposed 2017-18 budget estimates provide allocation of Sh100 billion for salary increases for all public servants starting July 2017,” a statement from State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu said.

The President also allocated funds to pay allowances that are currently being harmonised by the SRC.

PHOTO:COURTESY

Mr Esipisu added: “There is also allocation for the harmonisation of the public sector salaries and allowances; civil service pension; house and hardship allowances; recruitment of 10,000 police officers and recruitment of 5,000 teachers.”

Following the new funding, the budget has increased from Sh2.48 trillion in the 2016/17 year to Sh2.62 trillion for the next financial year.

Reacting to the Cabinet’s decision, Kenya Union of Civil Servants Secretary General Tom Odege welcomed the allocation to harmonise the civil servants pay.

“Civil servants work very hard but are paid peanuts. We welcome the Cabinet’s move to allocate funds for purposes of paying civil servants,” Mr Odege said.

He, however, said the union is dissatisfied with the manner in which SRC and PSC handled the new salary structure proposals.

“SRC and the Government must accept to sit down with us to thrash out anomalies in the pay structure that will adversely affect our members,” he said adding, that grading for civil servants should be harmonized otherwise some of his members will loss out.

“When you examine the entry point for county commissioners, the starting pay in the current structure goes up to Sh309,000. But in the new structure, they have been placed in grade E1 whose band begins at Sh198,267 up to Sh257,747. It demoralizes those in the positions who still want to climb the ladder,” explained Odege.

The Cabinet move follows details contained in a letter dated December 6, 2016 written by SRC chairperson, Sarah Serem, and addressed to her PSC counterpart, Margaret Kobia, where the least paid civil servant in Job grade B1 will take home Sh11,553.

In the new salary bands, the highest paid civil servant in job grade E4 will be paid Sh292,765 as starting salary but earn up to a maximum of Sh576,120 per month.

The new job structure for the country’s over 600,000 public servants, which will bridge the gap between the highest and lowest pay earners is to be implemented in four annual equal phases with effect from July 1, 2017.

The Cabinet also approved the hosting of the 56th Session of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organisation (AALCO).

The conference, said the Cabinet, will provide the best opportunity to lobby for the adoption of key resolutions on pertinent challenges unique to Kenya, but which will be further strengthened by collective support from the member states.

“This include among others Kenya’s challenge with the growing threat of terrorism and violent extremism. It will further bolster Kenya’s leadership in the region and affirm the country’s sustained support for AALCO’s ideals,” Esipisu added.

The forum will also be a great opportunity to showcase Kenya as an investment and tourism destination in line with established programmes.

AALCO’s annual sessions attract a huge delegation from the member states, as well as, other representatives of non-member states from across the globe who may be admitted to attend the session.

The influx of delegates from across the globe will raise the profile of Kenya through marketing of the event and increase its visibility in the world stage, which will have lasting economic benefits.

This exposure will enable the country to further market itself not only as a conference destination but also a tourism and business destination.

“The spiral effect of hosting the session will present benefits far and beyond,” said Esipisu.

 

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