NCCK: Pay cuts inadequate to check wage bill

March 11, 2014 4:55 pm

“Every Sunday you profess to be a Christian, what type of Christian is that? Think about it, all of us and I am appealing to the entire nation that we unite in dealing with this animal called unemployment and unsustainable wage bill.”

The president’s directive to parastatals chiefs to emulate him in taking a 20 percent pay cut has sparked mixed reactions, with experts warning it may not work unless proper policy structures are outlined.

Speaking during the launch of the National Dialogue on the Public Wage Bill on Monday at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, the Head of State indicated that pay cuts for government employees were no longer an option, but mandatory to address the sky-rocketing wage bill.

“Parastatal chiefs will conform to what the Executive has done and we expect that they will take an equivalent 20 percent pay cut like we have done because it is our job to formulate policy and we expect them to do so,” he stated. “And let me assure you, if you fail to do so, there are many Kenyans who are ready and willing to take up those jobs at that lower rate,” President Kenyatta said on Monday.

While emphasising that the current wage bill was unsustainable, he pointed out that it would be easier to pay off those who opt to seek legal redress for breach of contract than continue having them in government.

“And those who resist can go to court. Even if they are awarded (damages), it is cheaper for us to pay them off and get other people. So they should not think that they are going to take us back. You need to accept this but if you can’t, you can go look for employment where they can pay you that amount of money,” he said.

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