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SRC directs employment agencies to start implementing new pay scheme

The salaries commission has directed government employing agencies to use the just-released job evaluation report to negotiate with the various unions on how much the workers should earn.

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) directive comes two weeks after doctors, nurses, civil and county servants bashed the agency for what they said was an assessment of their jobs that yielded little on what they should actually earn.

The commission said the assessment will ensure reward of performance rather than years served.

The evaluation, SRC added, had broken down the barriers of progression in public service and ensured that no two people in the same job groups, irrespective of place of work in the public service, earned different salaries.

“It is expected that public service employment agencies shall initiate negotiations with respective unions, on salaries based on the commission’s advice and in consideration of the principle of affordability and sustainability.” SRC Chief Executive Anne Gitau said in a statement.

The new job structure has rendered redundant the remunerative allowances that form part of compensation pay, another huge shift that might cause friction with the unions.

“The job evaluation considered al factors associated with public sector for purposes of compensation, including job complexities, risks, decision making, physical and mental pressure among others.”

Mrs Gitau said that the job evaluation will also address issues of stagnated pay progression in the public service.

This, she said, will be addressed by specific pay entry points to be determined by the commission every July based on the performance of the economy.

The doctors, nurses, civil and county servants had opposed the job evaluation as having not addressed their main concerns.

The doctors and nurses even threatened to go on strike on December 5, demanding a 300 per cent pay rise and a salary increment of between 25 to 40 per cent and an allowance increase of 14 to 25 per cent, respectively.

But while they complained that they were given a raw deal, teachers from the two giant unions were going home a happy lot.

The Kenya National Union of Teachers and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers had used the new evaluation to negotiate a sweetened deal that saw the promotion of 100,000 primary teachers and the scrapping of P1 job group.

In her statement, Mrs Gitau defended the evaluation saying that they had brought uniformity to the public service.

“The current public sector salary structure rewards employees every year without recognition to of performance,” said the SRC CEO.

“This automatic annual increment is one of the causes of escalation of wages without corresponding productivity.”

While the SRC recognises the need to compensate for inflation and other factors as one employee progresses in the service, Mrs Gitau said, the review should be based on the performance of the economy.

“In the short run, the wage bill might not reduce because we have to deal with inequities,” SRC chair Sarah Serem said.

“However, in the long run, we project a stabilized wage that will allow additional financial resources for development.”

The SRC assessed 20,382 jobs in counties, 3,010 in the civil service, 1,881 in the 16 constitutional commissions and two independent offices, 300,000 in the teaching service, 8,495 in 95 out of the 102 state corporations and 5,723 in 47 out of the 51 strategic corporations evaluated.

The commission used the Patterson job model that classifies job into five groups, with E being the highest in the top management and A being the lowest with only basic skills.

The SRC will now engage stakeholders to receive comments on the evaluation, talk with employing institutions to address gaps, and liaise with government agencies to develop a robust performance management system.

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