The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) has freezed salary increments for teachers and other civil servants for a period of two years. According to the latest circular by SRC, no new Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) will be signed during the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 financial years.
Also to be freezed are any adjustments in allowances paid in the public service.
Teachers are the most hit by the current freeze as they have been pushing for a new CBA; that would have seen their salaries increased.
The Commission says the freeze in salary increments as a result of the tough economic times and the Covid 19 pandemic. Further, the current Public Sector Wage bill consumes a larger percentage of revenue than the target set in the Public Finance Management Act 2012 and a larger percentage of GDP compared to average for developing countries.
But, all is not lost as this directive may be rescinded if the economy recovers well.
“The National Treasury will review the performance of the economy and advise SRC as/and when the review can be done based on the prevailing circumstances to ensure affordability and fiscal sustainability.” Says the SRC.
On a positive note, though, normal yearly salary increments will proceed as usual.
“Annual salary notch adjustments in existing salary structures, as set or advised by SRC, will continue to be applied within budget allocation.” SRC adds.
TSC proposals now null and void
Earlier, the Teachers Service Commission, TSC, wanted a basic salary increment for teachers of between 16 percent and 32 percent; with classroom teachers getting the higher perks.
The 16 percent rise in basic pay should have been for teachers in administrative grades (C4 to D5) who reaped big from the 2016-2021 CBA. Classroom teachers in lower grades (B5 to C3) were to be awarded an increment of 30 percent.
But, the teachers’ unions ,Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) and Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET), vehemently opposed to the proposals terming them a drop in the ocean. The unions claimed there were no talks between them and TSC to come up with the new salary scales; as should be the case during the CBA negotiations.
KNUT then proposed a basic pay rise of between 120 and 200 percent, while KUPPET wanted 30 to 70 percent increment.
For allowances, TSC proposed a 20 percent increment in commuter and leave allowances. On its part, house allowance was to be increased by 10 percent. These proposals were by far much lower than what the unions were proposing.
All these proposals are now null and void as any hopes of a new CBA being signed, any time soon, have been dashed.