, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 13 – The government on Friday announced a commuter allowance for civil servants in job groups A to Q, following negotiations with the Union of Kenya Civil Servants.
Public Service Minister Dalmas Otieno said the payment would be implemented in two phases, with the first one backdated to July this year.
In the first phase, those in job groups A to F would get Sh1,100, those in job groups G to J will receive Sh1,400 while K and L will get Sh1,800. Those in job groups M and N will be paid Sh2,500 as commuter allowance, while P and Q will get Sh3,600.
The initial payments range between 35 and 37 percent of the full commuter allowance package.
“The second and final payment amounting to Sh3.6 billion will be made in the next financial year. We will also soon be addressing the matter of full implementation of the hardship allowance, the house allowance package and then medical allowance for the public servants,” the Minister said.
The government approved payment of commuter allowance for all civil servants in 2006 following the development of a Transport Policy.
“In view of the financial implications, it was not possible at the time to pay the allowance to all eligible employees,” he said.
The Minister also asked those civil servants who were not in the union to join so as to strengthen it.
“It is not fair for some people to duck union dues but when the benefits finally come they all will be benefiting. I think all those who can be members of the union are supposed to join,” Mr Otieno said.
The union’s Secretary General Tom Odege said although it had taken long to implement, introducing the commuter allowance was a first step.
“Although the allowances may appear low, the most important thing is that it has been introduced and the minister has also made it clear on when they are going to pay the next batch,” Mr Odege said.
“Although we were demanding full payment we are comfortable with the introduction and we are asking our members to hold their horses as we start by getting that small piece while we wait for the remaining portion of the bargain,” he added.