Civil Servants Face Cuts in Allowances

  • Kenyan Currency notes.
    Kenyan Currency notes.
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  • A section of civil servants now face cuts in the allowances they receive after new proposals were made to narrow salary differences in the sector.

    The measures proposed by the Salaries and Renumeration Commission (SRC) stated that allowances should not constitute more than 40% of the monthly gross pay.

    SRC Chairperson Lyn Mengich noted that the move was to reduce the wage bill, noting that if adopted, the cap would save the government as much as Ksh100 billion annually.

    "Hidden allowances create inequity and unfavorable pay. So we are basically saying the target is to have 60% of your pay in basic salary and the rest in allowances," she explained.

    An image of Lyn Mengich
    Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) Chairperson Lyn Mengich in a press briefing on May 15th 2019.
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    In the reduction of the gap between the lowest and the highest-earning, the SRC proposes 'a ratio of at most 1.5 times between the highest and lowest paid staff in each salary grade.

    The proposed guidelines are subject to public participation and will be used by trade unions in negotiations for salary reviews.

    If approved, remuneration and benefits shall not be reviewed more than once in four years.

    "The remuneration guidelines are expected to set a roadmap that will guide employers when negotiating with the trade unions or even the commission when we are making decisions around salary reviews," Mengich added.

    Additionally, any demand for salary review shall be subject to affordability and fiscal sustainability.

    "The foregoing provisions would prohibit public sector employers and trade unions or other such representatives from concluding collective bargaining negotiations on remuneration and other terms and conditions of employment without first obtaining advice from the SRC," the commission stated.

    The public wage bill increasing from Ksh465 billion in 2012-13 to Ksh795 billion in 2019, whereas the Public Finance Management Act (Regulations), 2015, recommends the wage bill should not exceed 35% of the national revenue.

    On Thursday, December 10, the High Court ordered the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) to deduct Ksh2.9 Billion from the MPs' salaries which they had acquired in illegal housing allowances.

    A sitting in session at Parliament Buildings in June 2020.
    A session in progress at Parliament Buildings in June 2020.
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    illegal