LABOUR RIGHTS

SRC decision to cut allowances challenged in court

Draft policy proposes to cut at least seven allowances as part of the state's plan to reduce the ballooning wage bill.

In Summary
  • Some of the perks set to go include the popular per diem when officers work outside their stations and transport allowances.
  • Dr Ochanji Allan says there is no scientific and verifiable justification for the purported rationale for restructuring the non-practice allowance.
SRC chairperson Lyn Cherop Mengich
WAGE BILL: SRC chairperson Lyn Cherop Mengich
Image: ENOS TECHE

A medical doctor is challenging the legality of a draft policy by the Salaries and remuneration commission proposing hefty allowance cuts for public sector employees.

The SRC draft policy proposes to cut at least seven allowances as part of the state's plan to reduce the ballooning wage bill.

Some of the perks set to go include the popular per diem when officers work outside their stations and transport allowances.

Also to be affected is the lucrative medical allowances paid to civil servants which will go as will the non-practising allowances.

Dr Ochanji Allan in his suit papers says there is no scientific and verifiable justification for the purported rationale for restructuring the non-practicing allowance, which in turn makes that decision fail to meet the threshold of transparency and fairness.

He further accuses the SRC of failing to take into consideration its own recommendations from its previous inquires into the matter of remuneration of Kenya medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union members where it approved allowances it now seeks to restructure or abolish.

Further, he says, the actions of SRC in preparing the draft policy are prejudicial to union members' right to engage in collective bargaining.

He says that sometime in March 2021 SRC published a draft allowances and benefits policy for public sector workers.

On June 30, 2017 and July 6, the interested party entered into 48 standardised collective bargaining agreements CBAs with national and county governments and the same were registered with the court.

Allan notes that SRC issued letters of no objection to the CBAs.

However, the draft policy proposes restructuring of leave allowance and non-practice allowance with the rationale for restructuring being that medical doctors are currently receiving the non-practice allowance but they still practice in private clinics, thus defeating the purpose for the payment.

SRC has invited public participation on the draft policy, indicating that the final policy shall be issued before the next financial year. Thereafter, the implementation shall be undertaken within six months.

But Allan wants the court to issue declaratory order saying that the draft policy contravenes several sections of the Constitution.

Edited by Henry Makori