The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) has committed to cut down on the bloated wage bill which is among the highest in Africa.
The commission’s chairperson Sarah Serem has assured Kenyans that the exercise will bear in mind public participation which is a critical requirement in the constitution to ensure that all stakeholders are involved.
Modalities of how, when and where to engage members of the public will be disclosed once the commission makes a decision on the matter, she said.
“We are going to conclude public participation in the next one month,” she said. Serem said the commission will decide on whether to go round or have a central point to engage with the public.
Speaking in Nairobi yesterday, she reiterated that the country’s wage bill is unmanageable and unsustainable. In Africa, South Africa, Tunisia and Nigeria are the only countries with higher wage bills than Kenya.
“The structure of salaries and allowances for public servants consumes up to 50 per cent of the total revenues collected by the government. We must reduce this to a desired rate of 30 per cent or below for it to make sense,” she said during the press conference yesterday.
She said this will be done in consideration with the performance of the country’s economic performance. Serem said the current demands for pay rise by workers are putting a huge strain on the country.
Serem noted that the goodwill from the political class should be nurtured for the commission to attain its mandate.
Workers in the independent commissions will also be part of the reviews being undertaken by the salaries commission, she added.
“The salaries and allowances set by the commission will be final and will not be subject to discussion or debate. There will be nobody to vary what SRC has set,” Serem said.
The SRC chairperson supported the government move to reform and transforming the pension so that it becomes contributory for it to able to reduce liability on the government.
She noted that issues of industrial actions should not be undertaken by too many parties to maintain order and stability in the labour industry.