, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 28 – The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) has maintained that the only way Members of County Assemblies (MCAs) will have their salaries reviewed is if they undergo a job re-evaluation.
The SRC reiterated its stance in response to MCAs who on Friday accused the commission of using the re-evaluation as an excuse not to increase their basic pay.
The commission’s chairperson Sarah Serem was categorical on Monday that the only way the MCAs will have their salaries reviewed is if a re-evaluation finds it necessary to do so.
“You see when you cook food and it’s ready and people don’t turn up what does that tell you? They’re not hungry isn’t it? So maybe they don’t need it and which still solves our problem,” she told journalists.
Serem said the commission had already secured the services of a consultant who will complete the exercise in two weeks and asked the MCAs not to draw out the process any longer.
“We indeed thought we would start last week because we have to defend the decision we will take if we are going to change the salaries. If they do not accept that then I think we have done what we needed to do,” she stated.
She again urged the MCAs to call off their go-slow arguing that the commission had already shown good faith by implementing allowances that would enable them carry out their duties better.
“Following discussions with the MCAs, the commission approved facilitation perks taking into consideration the constraints the Members of County Assemblies faced in the discharge of their duties,” she recounted.
The perks include a sitting allowance of Sh3, 000 – with a maximum of eight sittings a month – a transport allowance of Sh20,000, airtime allowance of Sh5,000 and maximum responsibility allowance of Sh32,000.
And with a basic salary of Sh79,200, the least paid MCA earns Sh185,200 a month and the highest Sh217,000 according to the commission.
The MCAs however maintain that the allowances are not enough and want their salaries increased given they carry out legislative work similar to their counterparts in Parliament who take home fatter cheques.
A review, Serem countered, would take this, and anything else not envisioned in the original evaluation, into consideration.
“The commission in appreciation of the critical issues and concerns raised and the fact that the job evaluation was conducted before the MCAs were in office agreed to the MCAs’ request for job-evaluation,” she said.
The MCAs and SRC have been embroiled in a pay dispute for the last six months with the former having completely downed their tools in May.