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Treasury dims promise of hefty pay for civil servants

The Treasury has dimmed the promise of a hefty pay rise for civil servants starting July after allocating a minimal salary increase ahead of the elections.

State House announced a Sh100 billion pay rise to be staggered over four years starting July.

But the Treasury, through the budget summary, has allocated Sh366 billion for salaries starting July, reflecting a 1.3 per cent increase on current wage allocation of Sh360 billion. The public workers are in line for a hefty pay review starting July 2018 with wages allocations increasing 18.9 per cent or by Sh69.7 billion to Sh434.7 billion. This will mark the first pay increase for the entire civil service under the Jubilee administration which romped to power in 2013, and comes amid heighted pay spats that have seen doctors and university lecturers go on strike.

It also signals President Uhuru Kenyatta’s intention to end a string of strikes which have rocked his administration ahead of the August 8 General Election. But the doctors and lecturers pay will be covered in the counties and universities allocation budget. The government has in recent years been reducing Kenya’s ballooning public sector wage bill a priority, saying it is “unsustainable” and weighing on the national budget.

Mr Kenyatta’s administration has been struggling to keep workers’ cost at no more than 35 per cent of shareable revenue through pay and hiring freezes against pressure from unions.

Doctors have been on strike for more than two months, demanding a 300 per cent pay rise which translates to an additional wage bill of Sh8 billion.

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