Face-off looms between SRC and Deputy Governors over pay

Deputy Governors are up in arms over their remuneration and have since vowed to reject their Sh 621,000 monthly salary.

During the charged close session meeting currently underway in Naivasha, Nakuru County bringing together the county bosses and their deputies, the Deputy Governors are reported to have argued their position is the second-highest-ranking as an official in the County government and told off the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) of their perks.

SRC chair Lyn Mengich is now on the spot as the DGS demand a review of the entry point, arguing that they are elected on a joint ticket with the governor for a five-year term with qualifications.

Presently according to SRC guidelines, a Deputy Governor in Kenya earns a basic salary of Sh 373,000, a House allowance of Sh 100,000 and Sh148,000 for market adjustment; all totaling Sh 621,000 per month.

Speaking to NTV, Kakamega DG Ayub Savula says they are ranked above the Members of Parliament (MPs) in the public service, and therefore it’s unrealistic to get less pay.

“We have rejected the SRC set salaries. We want to be properly enumerated. Our job is well cut out, including the education required to have a degree,” said Savula.

He faulted, “It’s only deputy governors whose job description is not properly defined as the case with the governor. SRC has agreed to have the structures in place as we demand harmonization of the perks with those of employees in the same Job Group in the National Government. We are graded very low despite being ahead of MPs in the public service ranking.”

He insists that they will not allow the set entry point for pay by SRC.“Let SRC calculate our basic dues. We reject the current basic allowance,” disclose Savula.

MPs who got a reprieve from the court over degree requirements ahead of the August polls are getting a consolidated salary of Sh 710, 000.

According to Savula, the DG attends regular cabinet meetings, and he/she helps the governor in coordinating and ensuring they implement county legislation, coordinate the functions of the county administration and its departments and perform any other functions conferred on it by this Constitution or national legislation.

Even though there is no law specifying the roles of a DG, it is more of a principal deputy to the governor.

A DG serves as acting governor in the absence of the governor and is a heartbeat away from assuming the county boss office as stipulated in Article 182 of the Constitution.

It states: “If a vacancy occurs in the office of county governor, the deputy county governor shall assume office as county governor for the remainder of the term of the county governor.”

This could be if the governor has a disability, in the event of the Governor’s death, resignation, or removal from office via impeachment.

SRC has set a governor’s salary and allowances at Sh 924,000 per month, this is inclusive of a basic Salary of Sh 554,000, a House Allowance of Sh 200,000, and Sh 170,000 for Market Adjustment in the review guidelines for 2022/2023.

This translates to over Sh 11 million annually therefore in five years if perks and benefits are not reviewed, task payers will cough a whopping Sh 55. 4million.

Cumulatively, the 47 Governors will cost Kenyan taxpayers almost Sh 2.7 billion in salaries every five years in office.  The latest salary adjustment demands by DG come in the backdrop of the push by MPs to get back the abolished allowances by SRC in the reviewed guidelines.

Mengich in September endured a hostile six-hour encounter with the lawmakers, who were furious with the abolishment of the Sh5,000 plenary sitting allowance that members of the 11th and 12th Parliaments enjoyed.

The MPs are also opposed to restrictions on the engine size of their vehicles, which the SRC capped at 3,000cc, in changes published in the Kenya Gazette on July 28. They have demanded more and accused the SRC of demeaning them with low pay amid heavy responsibilities.

Mengich has justified the decision to review the perks for public servants saying it was reached after conducting salary market surveys and international benchmarking.

She disclosed that the focus was on equity and fairness when paying salaries, which translated to equal pay for work of equal value as they had conducted a job evaluation.

According to Mengich, an MP’s job is equivalent to a Principal Secretary (PS) and a chair of any commission, which fall in Group F1.  SRC is expected to review the MPs pay before the next financial year.


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