Bitter-sweet deal for civil servants in salary shocker

Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) Chairperson Lyn Mengich. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

Teachers will get the lion’s share of the total Sh21.6 billion budget allocated by President William Ruto’s government for civil servants’ pay raise.

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) has proposed an allocation of Sh9.5 billion for teachers’ perks in the latest review announced yesterday. This is equivalent to 44.2 per cent of the proposed review package.

It is expected the windfall will be divided according to the job groups of the tutors, meaning a teacher in a higher job group will get more than those at entry levels. Uniformed and disciplined forces workers will get the second largest allocation at 20.9 per cent, which translates to Sh4.5 billion.

Other top earners include county government workers whose allocation has been set at Sh18.8 per cent or the equivalent of Sh4 billion.

On the other hand, civil servants will get 8.5 per cent (Sh1.8 billion) while other public officials will get 3.4 per cent equivalent to Sh745 million.

Others include county state officers (1.9 per cent), Judiciary state officers (1.4 per cent), Executive state officers (0.6 per cent) and Parliamentary state officers who will get an allocation of 0.4 per cent.

The Standard has learned that the exact net effect on individual payslips will be determined from the allocated amount in relation to staff strength of the respective sector and hopefully the equitable distribution.

A meeting will be held today between union representatives and government officials and a way forward will emerge to determine the individual gain and losses, if any.

It is a bittersweet moment for civil servants however as the state has given with one hand and taken with the other in the proposed review of allowances in the public service.

Allowances are the hidden goldmine for civil servants who, in some instances, make twice as much as they earn in a month through contrived schemes. 

The government has now introduced a standardised daily subsistence allowance across the country payable to public officers.

This means public officers traveling across all cities, county headquarters and all other towns for official assignments will be paid a uniform amount depending on their job group.

However, Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA) shall not be payable for locations within 50km radius of respective duty stations of the officers affected.

Accrued benefits

This means luxury hotels located in major cities and towns will face the largest shakeup in its finances in recent history following the announcement that the civil servants will be paid standardised allowances across the country irrespective of the city.

The SRC review will replace a system where major urban centers have been a magnet for state officers due to lucrative allowances prescribed as allowances and benefits accrued. 

“DSA for Local Travel has been standardised across the country for the respective grades,” said the SRC.

At the same time the DSA for foreign travel remains unchanged, save for correction of a few countries, SRC said.

Singapore, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Kuwait, Japan, and Iraq attract the highest allowance with the highest ranking officer getting over $1,000 (Sh143,000).