NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 17 – The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) says its members are not opposed to the job evaluation currently being undertaken by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).
Speaking during a meeting between SRC and public service officials on Tuesday morning, Secretary General Wilson Sossion however pointed out that tutors had an issue with how and when it was introduced during their negotiations for better pay during the teachers strike at the beginning of the year.
He stated that teachers will support it only if it did not interfere with the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and the ongoing negotiations to increase teachers’ basic pay currently being arbitrated by the Industrial Court.
“There is no change in heart for ourselves. We condemn the introduction of job evaluation at the tail end of negotiations and we have not vacated that. We did not take a position to oppose job evaluation. It is healthy and in any case, it will strengthen future negotiations because of course, we will know the value of each teacher comparable to other grades,” he said.
While saying that the process should be conducted on a regular basis, Sossion indicated that it will harmonise workers’ salaries within the public service.
“This exercise being done by SRC is more of comparative across the board but of course there needs to be a continuous in built job evaluation within process and even skills audit within each sector and that has not co relation at all with the right to a collective bargaining agreement. You do not need a job evaluation when the consumer price index has been accurately worked out,” he stated.
During the strike, Sossion had stated that calls by TSC for teachers to undergo a job evaluation exercise before talks resumed were misplaced and had termed it as a delaying tactic by the commission.
SRC Chairperson Sarah Serem on the other hand stated that the main objective of the exercise will be to bring clarity in the job descriptions of public servants.
“The expected outcome is that there will be no disparities, we will have the relative worth of every job, we will be able to pay equal pay for work of equal value and we will be able to enhance productivity because the clarity of jobs descriptions will be enhanced. The jobs specification for the purpose of recruitment and deployment will be clearer,” she stated.
Speaking during the meeting, she stated the need for ministries and all public service sectors to fully support the exercise that is to last for a year.
“The fruits of this exercise will be a better public service, improved performance and productivity and growth in the economy. This calls for a concerted and collective effort from each and every one of us. As leaders and key decision makers in this country, we shall be knocking on your doors, seeking support for this exercise and hope that the doors shall not be slammed on us,” she said.
Deloitte East Africa Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sammy Otieno explained that a huge wage bill can easily weigh down on the country’s economy hence the need to take the job evaluation exercise seriously.