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Teachers to wait for two more years for salary hike

Teachers and other public servants will have to wait for at least two years before they can receive a salary increase.

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission said any increase would be considered after a public service job evaluation is completed.

The commission told a parliamentary committee that it had frozen salary reviews until after the evaluation is done in 24 months.

Teachers have been pushing for a salary increase. Last year, they went on strike to demand more allowances.

SRC Vice-Chairman Daniel Ogutu said the audit would help to gauge  the acceptable remuneration for public workers.

“We expect to be done in two years,” he told the National Assembly’s Finance Committee on Wednesday, during a session at Continental House, Nairobi.

The commission would complete data collection in February, next year, but it would still have more work to do, including analysis of the data, he said. “That could take us another year.”

Committee members questioned the length of time the commission required to finish the job, saying it should try to hasten it.

Committee chairman Benjamin Lang‘at said the commission should minimise its expenditure on the job evaluation.

JOB EVALUATION

The commission said it needed about Sh900 million for the next financial year, about half of it for the job evaluation.

“It appears to me that you are preaching water and drinking wine. Why do you want a lot of money when you have been preaching a cut to public wage bill?” said Mr Lang’at.

The MPs also faulted the commission for slashing their foreign travel allowances by half, saying they were not involved in the decision.

Mr Ogutu said the commission reduced the allowances after extensively studying travel wages at leading international agencies, including the UN and the World Bank.

Meanwhile, the commission’s chairperson, Mrs Sarah Serem, has said no public servant would be laid off due to the evaluation.

It would only help in addressing pay disparities in the public sector, she said.

Some 1,000 job families, in which 680,000 civil servants are employed, will be audited.

“The aim of the job evaluation is to determine the comparable and relative worth of the jobs and to provide an objective criteria for management of remuneration,” said the SRC boss.

Ms Serem, who was speaking yesterday during a media briefing in Nairobi, said the audit would also render collective bargaining agreements unnecessary.

This story first appeared in the Daily Nation