Economy

Parliament revokes SRC civil servants pay freeze directive

mps

MPs during a session at Parliament chambers. PHOTO | FILE

Workers in the public sector will have their pay reviewed regularly after Parliament quashed a directive that had restricted pay negotiations to be done after four years.

Parliament revoked three circulars from the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) circulars that had limited collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) to a four-year cycle for workers in the public service.

MPs ruled the circulars are unconstitutional as they violate workers’s rights to engage in collective bargaining with the employers in line with provisions of Article 41(5) of the Constitution.

The Article stipulates that “every trade union, employers’ organisation and employer has the right to engage in collective bargaining.”

“Considering that the Guidelines limit the right to collective bargaining, they must be enacted in strict adherence to constitutional dictates set out in Article 24 of the Constitution,” the MPs said in a report.

This means workers, through unions will be free to negotiate for new pay increases which the commission had frozen.

The SRC in June froze salary increments for all civil servants for two years starting July, dampening their prospects of better fortunes amid tough economic times brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The suspension affected basic salary, allowances and benefits of all government workers prompting unions to threaten to stage “a mother of all strikes.”

The Treasury has been struggling to raise revenues to run the bloated public wage bill that consumes more than half of taxes, impeding spending on development projects.