Civil servants have threatened to go on strike in two weeks if the government does not review its intention to freeze salary review.
The Salaries Remuneration Commission (SRC) on Thursday said it will cease reviewing salaries of all civil servants and State officers for two years due to economic slowdown occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, the public sector trade unions affiliated to the Central Organization of Trade Unions (Cotu-K) on Friday distanced themselves from the announcement by the SRC. They said that a “major demonstration” looms should the commission not call stakeholders for a discussion.
Speaking in Nairobi on Friday, Cotu-K Assistant Secretary-General Earnest Nadome described SRC’s decision as insincere. He said that their members will hold a nationwide strike if the SRC does not reverse its stand.
“We are open to discussion, the SRC should not make blanket decisions for all workers because not all sectors are making losses,” Mr Nadome said.
According to the Union of Kenya Civil Servants (UKCS), the government’s decision to freeze salary review is meant to “frustrate and suffocate” the workforce.
“We are opposed to any move to freeze pay for the civil servants,” he added.
While calling on the government to adhere to court orders, Mr Nadome hinted that the union will challenge the SRC’s decision in court.
“If there has been a mother of strikes, this will be legendary,” he said.
While blaming the Treasury CS Ukur Yattani for declining SRC’s request for a remuneration review, the union called on the government to understand that it is the very workers it is suffocating that will finance the Sh3.6 trillion budget.
“Let Ukur Yattani own up his own letter dated March 18, 2021, in which the National Treasury rejected a proposal by the SRC of 81.68 for a third remuneration cycle for salaries review,” Mr Nadome said.