Tuesday, June 25, 2013

County reps’ pay raised at last

Salaries and Remuneration Commission chairperson Sarah Serem. Photo/File

Salaries and Remuneration Commission chairperson Sarah Serem. Photo/File 

By PAUL OGEMBA pogemba@ke.nationmedia.com

The salaries team has struck a deal with county assembly representatives to increase their pay and allowances.

In the new deal filed in court Tuesday in response to a petition by Embu County Assembly Speaker Justus Kariuki Mate, the county representatives will now take home a minimum of Sh137,200, up from the earlier gazetted Sh79,200 per month.

The amount could add up to Sh233,000 depending on how many sittings a county representative attends in a month as the new provisions give Sh3,000 per sitting, with a maximum of 32 sittings in a month.

In addition to the new pay structure, the county representatives will be provided with official transport, Sh1 million medical cover and Sh40,000 each for dental and optical care.

According to Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) chairperson Sarah Serem, the new structure was agreed on last month following discussions with a joint technical committee of the County Assembly Speakers Forum and SRC commissioners.

“The commission fully appreciates concerns raised on the grading system which informed the original salary structure and which we have now fully moved to address and review the salaries of county representatives,” Mrs Serem said.

In the petition before Industrial Court judge Ndume Nderi, Mr Mate claimed the Gazette notice published by the SRC undermined the county representatives, Senators, Women Representatives and Governors.

He argued that the offices of the Speakers and those of elected representatives are demanding and require reasonable remuneration in line with the duties they perform.

Elective positions

“The SRC exceeded its mandate by reviewing our salaries. They should have published the notice after presenting the proposals to the National Assembly to facilitate harmonisation with existing laws or they should have published the statutory instruments before we ventured into these elective positions,” said Mr Mate.

He sought determination of whether the SRC has the powers to alter provisions of a parliamentary statute and an order suspending operationalisation of the Gazette notice until his case is determined.

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