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Govt begins job evaluation exercise to rationalize public wage bill

06 March 2015, 08:13

Nairobi - The government said Thursday it has embarked on a job evaluation exercise to rationalize the public sector wage bill that currently stands at 10 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).

Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) chairperson Sarah Serem told journalists in Nairobi the job evaluation exercise will cover the entire public service at all levels of government and sectors, including teaching service, security organs, disciplined forces, civil servants, and state corporations.

"This job evaluation process is a concerted effort by all stakeholders to streamline the public sector, enabling enhanced productivity, and strengthen our capacity as an economy to implement development programs, and overall, ensure that we achieve a fiscal sustainable public wage bill," Serem said.

She said the exercise, when completed, will streamline the public sector wage bill by enhancing productivity and strengthening Kenya's economy to implement development programs.

With 5.4 billion U.S. dollars, Kenya's public sector wage bill stands at a high of 12 percent of the country's GDP of 55.2 billion dollars, compared to the globally recommended average of seven percent. Kenya has an estimated number of 650,000 public servants.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has positioned wage bill reduction as a centerpiece of his economic agenda in an effort to offer the fiscal space that is needed to put the economy on a steady growth path.

Serem said the exercise is expected to yield an objective and defensible rating of jobs according to a specifically planned procedure in order to determine the relative worth of each job.

Also read: MP wants Jubilee govt to resign over Wage Bill

"At the end of the exercise, we expect to have well-defined job grades and ratings where public sector jobs can be compared with other jobs to determine their relative worth to provide equity among all jobs, thus ensuring that equal pay is paid for work of equal value," Serem said.

James Muhoro, a commissioner with SRC, allayed fears that the exercise was a preamble for retrenchment, salary cuts and demotions. He said the job evaluation process will help the Commission to identify, analyze and measure each job within the public sector against established criteria and weigh the relative value of jobs in a uniform and consistent manner.

"The output of a job evaluation is organizational job grades, scores, levels or ratings where jobs can be compared with other jobs to determine their relative worth to provide equity among all jobs thus ensuring that equal pay is paid for work of equal value, " he said.

The job evaluation undertaken by the Commission was the first of its kind in Kenya, and the aim was to ensure that the remuneration determined thereafter, is guided by objectivity, defensible and therefore acceptable. The exercise will take between six months and one and a half years and will cost six million dollars.

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- Xinhua


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