SRC’s Response to Industrial Action at Kenyatta National Hospital
September 30, 2020 | 1:13 pm
In view of the industrial action at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) over pay increase following re-categorisation, the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) finds it necessary to provide clarification on the matter.
It is imperative to state from the outset that the determination of remuneration and benefits in the public sector is subject to the advice of the Commission as provided in Article 230(4)(b) of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010. Since the promulgation of the Constitution, no other body or institution has the mandate to set, review and advise on remuneration and benefits in the public sector.
In exercising its mandate, the Commission takes into account the principles outlined in Article 230(5) of the Constitution, and Section 12(1) of the SRC Act, 2011, which ensures a fiscally sustainable, rationalised and equitable job grading and salary structures in the public sector.
These key principles are:
The need to ensure that the total public compensation bill is fiscally sustainable;
The need to ensure public services are able to attract and retain skills required to execute their functions;
The need to recognize performance and productivity;
Transparency and fairness; and
Equal pay to persons for work of equal value.
In effect, no other principle, criteria and/or fact, unless otherwise provided by law, can be used or relied upon to set, review and advice on remuneration and benefits in the public sector.
Pursuant to its mandate and based on these principles, the Commission undertook a job evaluation and determined the relative worth of jobs at KNH in 2017. The Commission advised KNH on the resultant job evaluation-based salary structure, which KNH has been implementing since 2017, with the last phase implemented with effect from 1 July 2020. Members of staff at KNH have therefore benefited from salary increases for the remuneration review cycle 2017/18 to 2020/21.
Any pay review ought to ensure that there is no double compensation, inequity and/or distortion in pay in the sector. Further, in the fulfilment of its mandate, the Commission does not consider the availability of approved funding as the only basis for increasing pay.
The KNH management has been in discussion with the relevant trade unions for additional pay, over and above what has been advised by the Commission. Following these discussions, the KNH management recommended a salary structure subject to the advice of the Commission. The Commission advised KNH to retain the job evaluation salary structure on the basis that institutional re-categorisation is not a basis for change in the relative worth of jobs, if the jobs have not significantly changed.
The industrial action at KNH is as a result of demands for pay increase outside the Commission’s advice. Following conciliatory efforts to resolve the matter, the Commission will re-evaluate jobs at KNH to address any emerging issues, and upon completion of this exercise, the Commission will issue its advisory.