Barely three months after the Treasury read out the budget for fiscal year 2021/2022, government employees have reason to smile. The budget was hit by the covid-19 economic difficulties. The cost of living was increased as taxes on basic necessities were raised to ensure that the country raised more money to facilitate the budget.
The expectations of some employees such as teachers were reduced since CBA, there was no monetary increase, but we were given a non-monetary requirement, for example maternity leave was increased from 90 days to 120 days, Whereas paternity leave was increased from 14 days to 21 days.
Fortunately, these government employees have a great reason to smile after the Ministry of Finance took the following bold step to promote and support them through the Treasury.
The National Treasury has ordered ministries to set aside money to meet wage hikes for civil servants starting next year.
On the other hand, employees working on small contracts will also be hired on permanent and pensionable terms. This is according to the circular sent by CS Treasury Ukur Yatani to the ministries, departments and agencies, which is set to start the preparation of the 2022/2023 and medium-term budgets this morning.
This comes barely two months after the Wage and Remuneration Commission announced a moratorium on hikes in wages and allowances for two years to save taxpayers from a high public wage bill. This is indeed good news for both civil servants and teachers, who are troubled by the high economic demands.
The government had stopped wage hike in June citing non-performing economy due to Kovid-19. The Wage and Remuneration Commission said that the two-year moratorium in wage hike will save the country Rs 82 billion.
The IMF had also announced that Kenya had committed to keeping civil service salaries unchanged after the fund’s board approved a new Sh250 billion loan.
“This will be accomplished through continued restraint in hiring and wage awards, including a four-year wage settlement that will come into force in the 2021/22 fiscal year and by improved wage bill management,” the IMF revealed.
However, the increase in the cost of living has eroded the purchasing power of the public servants. According to a recent report by Business Daily, civil workers haven’t received a salary since 2017 and have relied on generous perks to boost their take-home pay, but the SRC intends to reduce the benefits.
Wilson Sossion, former general secretary of KNUT, recently remarked that stagnation in the same job group has resulted in many public servants including teachers, police officers and health practitioners receiving maximum wages within the job group.