Politics and policy
PSs face huge pay cut in fresh review of civil service salaries
Posted Monday, May 28 2012 at 21:49
The government has embarked on a comprehensive review of public officers’ salaries in a move expected to end the careers of super permanent secretaries and effectively stop MPs from increasing their pay.
The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) has published far-reaching proposals which if adopted will put all public officers in specific pay bands, leaving no room for super paid civil servants currently earning as much as five times more than their peers.
Top in the list of public officers who must either leave the public service or face a huge pay cut are the select group of permanent secretaries on super salaries.
The PSs joined the public service from the private sector or international finance institutions – giving them an upper hand in negotiating higher salaries compared to career civil servants.
Joseph Kinyua, the PS at Treasury, who is the highest paid civil servant with an annual salary of Sh12.6 million (Sh1.05 million per month) and a house allowance of Sh960,000 tops the list of those who must take a pay cut to remain in the public service.
Permanent Secretary in the transport ministry Cyrus Njiru is at the same level with Joseph Kinyua.
Also facing a similar predicament is the Principal Administrative Secretary at the Cabinet Office, Sam Mwale, who earns Sh741,00 per month (Sh8.9 million a year plus a house allowance of Sh1.2 million).
Dr Mwale’s house allowance is the second highest among his peers after the Sh1.9 million paid to the Housing Ministry’s PS.
The bulk of permanent secretaries earn between Sh250,000 and Sh400,000 per month.
At the bottom of the pay ladder are the PSs in Special programmes (Andrew Mondoh), Internal Security (Muteu Irigo) and Defence (Nancy Kirui) with a salary of Sh200,000 each.
Sarah Serem, the chair of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission, on Monday told the Business Daily that the review is in response to concerns over huge salary disparities in government and its impact on morale in the public service.
“We want to move away from the huge pay disparities that exist for persons in the same job groups by upholding the principle of fairness and equity,” said Ms Serem and that any disparities within the same job group must be clearly justifiable.
The commission has since published public discussion a draft job group structure from which the salaries of top State Officers will be derived.
The proposed job groups, which have been advertised in the local press, promises to significantly increase or cut the pay of certain civil servants based on their current pay.
The list of those at the risk of losing a large chunk of their salaries includes permanent secretaries on special salaries who earn more than five times their peers.
The new salary scales are expected to come into force after next year’s general election and any of the lowly-paid PSs who keep their jobs in the new dispensation will receive a huge pay increase.