SRC moves to address pay disparities  

Written By: Margaret Kalekye
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She says the current wage bill does not match the national economic and revenue growth patterns

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) has expressed concern over the country’s growing recurrent expenditure occasioned by huge perks among senior staff in the civil service.

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SRC Chair Lyn Mengich says the commission has already launched the third public sector remuneration cycle for the 2021/22-2024/25 with a view of addressing the huge disparities in allowances among public officers saying it was time the issue was addressed to ensure fairness and equity.

She said allowances were eating into the already ballooning wage bill and called for a candid conversation on the same.

“Allowances in the public sector are taking a huge component of the wage bill at 38 percent. In some institutions, some officers are drawing allowances exceeding the basic pay. It is time we moved away from looking at pay as basic salary. Remunerative and facilitative allowances should form part of the total compensation” she said during a live interview on KBC #NewsCheck show.

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She said the commission is developing a policy framework that will govern and guide fair remuneration for all public servants at the county and national governments.

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Mengich said allowances should be consolidated into the basic pay structure adding that the outcome of the review of the allowances will be relayed to stakeholders in due course with employers given time to transition smoothly with an aim of ensuring they align their structures to the framework.

“We have had institutions pay over 100 pc in allowances while others offer less than 40pc. What allowances do is that they distort the total compensation and as result issues of disparity and inequity arise”.

She said the third public sector remuneration cycle for the financial year 2021/22 – 2024/25 launched this month by SRC will streamline allowances to enhance transparency, accountability, equity and fairness.

The new the formula, which will be used beginning the next financial year, will be used to remunerate state and public workers for the next four years.

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She added that the review of salaries will be determined by the evaluation of the work done by the officers.

According to the SRC boss, the remuneration cycle shall be anchored on the need to ensure that total public sector compensation is fiscally sustainable, the need to ensure that the public service can attract and retain the skills required to execute their respective functions, the need to recognize performance and productivity, the need to ensure transparency and fairness, and equal pay to persons performing work of equal value.

She dispelled rumours of layoffs noting that the review exercise is not focused on declaring redundancies but improving efficiency.

She played down differences with the PSC even as vowed to protect the mandate of the commission by all means.

On the huge wage bill, the SRC chair said the absolute huge wage bill is still a far cry from the Public Finance Management Act’s target of below 35 per cent revealing that only the revenue and GDP percentage ratios had dropped slightly.

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