Pay rise push reason to tame cost of living

Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) Chairperson Lyn Cherop Mengich at a past media brief. FILE PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NMG

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) says it declined Sh2.82 billion pay rise requests from civil servants in the three months to March as the country battles a wage bill crisis.

The SRC disclosed it received 65 requests ranging from collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) and allowances but approved only Sh411.4 million.

The disclosures reveal the agitation for higher pay in a bid to ease the impact of the high cost of living, a push that has led to confrontations between the SRC and workers.

The agency says 80 percent of the requests were for allowances and benefits, followed by nine percent for CBAs, eight percent for salary increments and requests for productivity and performance (three percent).

It is commendable that the SRC continues to stand its ground given the wage bill crisis.

However, with the rising cost of living, this position is unsustainable and it is only a matter of time before the agency is overwhelmed by restless employees.

The government must confront the cost of living issues by, first, relooking the clauses in the Finance Bill that promise to increase the cost of living.

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