Politics and policy
PSs face huge pay cut in fresh review of civil service salaries
Posted Monday, May 28 2012 at 21:49
“We intend to carry out a fresh job evaluation exercise for all state offices in the next three months to ensure that the pay is not only fair but fiscally sustainable,” Ms Serem added.
The president who is the country’s chief executive and the Commander in Chief of the defence forces tops the eight job grades scheme proposed by the salaries commission.
The Chief Justice, Vice President, Speakers of the two houses of parliament occupy the second tier.
The four are either constitutionally empowered to assume the position of President in the event that the position falls vacant or head an arm of government.
Deputy speakers of Parliament, Attorney General, Deputy Chief Justice, leaders of the minority and majority parties in parliament as well as Chief of Kenya Defence Force complete the third tier.
Under the proposed scheme, Cabinet ministers will occupy less glamorous positions that are only equal in stature with the Clerk of the National Assembly, Controller of Budget, Auditor General, Governor of the Central Bank as well as chairpersons of Constitutional Commissions.
The proposals, if adopted, are likely to meet opposition from some state officers who have been put in the same grades with those they view as their juniors.
“If the revisions are done in the pursuit of equity and paying employees commensurate to the work done then so be it,” said David Muturi, the executive director at the Kenya Institute of Management (KIM).
The pay disparities in government are mainly the product of government effort in the recent past to attract and retain the best talents but it has had the negative impact of demoralising sections of public officers.
Karugor Gautamah, the CEO at the Centre for Corporate Governance, said that whereas it was not wrong to remunerate holders of similar jobs differently based on qualifications, the difference should be narrower than is the case now.
“Awarding officers hired from the private sector higher pay than the career civil servants is not fair.”
Kwame Owino, the CEO for the Institute of Economic Affairs added that productivity had largely been ignored when setting the salaries at the expense of certificates certain state officers.
“Harmonising salaries sends a message to those who intend to join the public service that there is a cap on salaries that have to be adhered to,” said Mr Owino.