Salary cuts for junior civil servants expected to boost govt's Covid19 fund

Cuts to start with April salary

Salary cuts for junior civil servants expected to boost  Kenya's Covid19 fund

The Kenyan government's Covid19 fund is from the end of April expected to take a major boost after a voluntary salary cut programme takes effect and will affect various officials working for the government - right from the President to the lower level civil servants.

The initial programme announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta had indicated that the voluntary pay cut would affect senior government officials including the head of state, the Deputy President, CSs, and PSs.

However, Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua on Thursday issued a new memo extending the voluntary pay cut programme to lower level civil servants and setting guidelines on how the salary cut would be effected.

You are expected to issue any public officer who would like to volunteer salary cut to signify their consent to the authorized officer by completing the attached standard consent form,” Kinyua said.

Kinyua is said to have written the memo following numerous civil servants to participate in the voluntary salary cuts.

Public Service CS Margaret Kobia, however, clarified that no civil servant would be forced to participate in the voluntary pay cut programme.

"This is a voluntary exercise. Employment Act does not allow us to reduce salaries without consent of employees. The circular is to ensure that the staff willing to give voluntarily are facilitated,” Kobia explained.

Despite the assurances, civil servants are suspicious of the programme, with the civil servants' trade union saying it was preparing to oppose a mandatory salary cut.

I have seen countries suffering the same pandemic offering safety nets to its citizens and workers, why would they want to do the opposite here? We will oppose any pay cut with our blood,” Union of Kenyan Civil Servants (UKCS) deputy secretary-general Jerry Ole Kina stated.

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