Editorials

Stop unrealistic pay deals

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

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Summary

  • Parliament revoked three circulars from the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) circulars that had limited CBAs to a four-year cycle for workers in the public service.
  • A high wage bill means that the country will be cutting development budgets to pay staff salaries.
  • MPs should enact a law that will guide the review of salaries in the public sector without straining the limited resources.

Public servants' pay reviews should be pegged on productivity and affordability instead of periodical collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) between unions and employers.

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

MPs argued the circulars are unconstitutional as they violate workers’ rights to engage in collective bargaining with employers.

But experts and government officials have warned for long that the country’s wage bill is unsustainable.

A high wage bill means that the country will be cutting development budgets to pay staff salaries.

Letting pay increments be determined by boardroom deals between respective workers' unions and State agencies is therefore untenable.

It is not enough for the National Assembly to say the directives by the SRC were unconstitutional. MPs should enact a law that will guide the review of salaries in the public sector without straining the limited resources.

Unions should not take advantage of the latest development to engage in unrealistic push for salary reviews.