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Big Blow To Teachers And Civil Servants As Treasury Rejects 68 Billion For July Salary Increase

Teachers and Civil servants have suffered a major blow following government denial of the Sh68 billion request to fund the increment of salaries and allowances beginning July 1.

The National Treasury has written to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) turning down the application set to fund the next phase of pay reviews.

This follows the backdrop of the Sh253 billion loan program the government has struck with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) aimed at putting the nation’s finances in order.

Treasury officials claim that managing government wage bill can generate government significant savings which they can utilize to “help protect high priority social and development spending in the context of limited fiscal space,” said National Treasury Cabinet.

Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Dr. Patrick Njoroge and Treasury Secretary Ukur Yatani wrote a letter to the IMF managing director.

“This will be accomplished through continued restraint in hiring and wage awards (including in the 4-year wage agreement that will come into effect in FY2021/22) and by improved wage bill management,” they said.

All state employees that had a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) were anticipating getting an increment by the end of this financial year but it seems their hopes have been dashed.

However, we have noted that the total payout is Ksh68 billion and not Ksh83 billion being pushed by the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) secretary-general Wilson Sossion.

A source stated that of these funds, the National Treasury has committed only 10 percent, which amounts to Ksh8 billion. Yatani said the 10 percent allocation totaling Sh8 billion for 2021/ 2022 is meant for civil servants and teachers.

The government, which has been greatly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, is said to be at its wits’ end given the need to prioritize the CBAs for all the sensitive sectors including teachers, health, and security by the end of the financial year in June.

The government is assumed to be deliberating to invoke a clause under the four-year agreement that permits it to freeze the payout in case of eventualities such as a pandemic.

The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) had reassured teachers’ unions that salary talks would begin immediately SRC gets the award from the Treasury to determine the negotiation beacons.

Details reveal that SRC had requested the money to harmonize workers’ pay and to effect a new salary increase once the job evaluation is finished.

The CBAs are expected to end on June 30, paving the way to the next 4-year cycle of remuneration based on job evaluations. Hopes hang in the balance as details reveal that the government will not make available the funds.

The underpaid classroom teachers will be most affected as they have been expecting to be the greatest beneficiaries in the subsequent phase of salary reviews.

KNUT SG Wilson Sossion on Wednesday said he is privy to details that the Treasury has declined the SRC demand.

“It is a fact that the Treasury has rejected this money demanded by SRC and this will be a major setback to all workers in the country.”

He noted that of the funds demanded by SRC, Ksh32 billion was to be allotted to TSC.

“But shockingly, Treasury only said it can raise Sh6 billion. And this means that TSC may only get less than Sh2 billion for the next four years.” Said Sossion terming it a big joke. He urged the Treasury to release the funds.




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