Kenya workers get 13.1pc pay raise, to strikeBy | Wednesday, May 2 2012 at 13:40
Kenyans joined other workers across the globe in marking International Labour Day on Tuesday when the government announced a 13.1 per cent pay hike for all civil servants.
President Mwai Kibaki in a speech read on his behalf by Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka assured that the government will continue to ensure that mechanisms for wage review, transparency and fairness are in place to address the challenge.
The president said the Salaries and Remuneration Commission has been established to provide avenues for regular review of the remuneration of all public officers.
"The Commission will also advise the national and country governments on remuneration matters of public officers," he added.
He also disclosed that his government is in the process of establishing a conciliation and mediation commission that will deal with strikes that have recently paralyzed services in government institutions.
President Kibaki said Kenya intends to achieve a middle-income economy status as envisaged in the vision 2030. "Attainment of these aspirations is hinged on hard work and our country's ability to achieve rapid sustainable growth and competitiveness."
He however, regretted that the demand for employment opportunities has overstripped the rate at which the economy is generating such employment vacancies.
"I am pleased to note that we have continued to make progress in generating employment. Total employment has increased from 1.16 million workers in 1979 to 10.96 million in 2010," he said.
Kenya's umbrella trade union the Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary General Francis Atwoli issued a two week strike notice in a bid to force the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) to recede its decision to implement the increased contributory rates.
"You (workers) should all be prepared to sleep on that day (May 14), strike notice says seven days but we have given them 14 days and no one will sack you. Notice is given and it has been served," said Mr Atwoli.
He said that workers had not been adequately consulted over the new rates that would see the highest contributor remit $25 while the lowest contribution would be 20 dollars based on basic earnings.
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