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Governor proposes public servants be employed on contract terms

The Uasin Gishu Governor, Jackson Mandago at a fundraiser in Kaptinga on Sunday June 24, 2018. Photo by KNA.

The  Uasin Gishu governor, Jackson Mandago has called for radical changes in the terms of employment for public servants to improve performance and reduce the spiraling public sector wage bill.

Mandago said there was need for the National Assembly to introduce radical legislations that will see public servants put on contract and only paid for actual work done.

“I propose the National Assembly and the Senate come up with a legislation that will have all public servants serve under contract within the next three years,” he said.

According to the governor, such legislation will push public servants to work efficiently knowing they will only be paid for work done and not receive a salary just because they are on permanent and pensionable terms.

“This is the only way to improve service delivery and productivity in public sector,” he said on Sunday, during a funds drive in aid of five churches in Kaptinga, Kapseret Sub County in Uasin Gishu.

A total of Sh. 12.7 million was raised during the event officiated by former Gatanga MP, Peter Kenneth and attended by 12 MPs and senators drawn from Rift Valley and central Kenya.

The governor further called on Parliament to relook at the issue of collective bargaining agreements pushed by workers unions, saying some of the CBA’s were putting a strain on county government resources.

“At times the county governments are slapped with CBA’s and forced to pay monies to employees that were not budgeted for thus increasing the already ballooning wage bill”, lamented Mandago.

Mandago lamented that the “permanent and pensionable” terms currently enjoyed in the civil service has caused sluggishness in service delivery in government.

“These terms enjoyed by public servants have caused problems, persons who are unproductive cannot be replaced, meaning they have to sit there until 60 years because they cannot be sacked,” said the governor.

“Let public servants be put under contract, then employees will be working hard to have their contracts renewed,” he suggested.

Sometimes we feel frustrated when we see contractors doing shoddy work when there are government engineers who have failed to execute their supervisory roles, yet we cannot sack them because they are on permanent and pensionable terms of employment, he noted.

The governor once again said the retirement age for public servants should be reduced from 60 to 50 years to create room for youth employment.

“The decision to move the retirement age of civil servants from 55 years to 60 years was a big mistake and there is need for urgent review,” he added.

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission, SRC warned in December that the public sector wage bill was expected to rise to Sh.650 billion by the end of the 2017/2018 financial year.

The commission indicated the wage bill increased from Sh.465 billion in the 2012/2013 financial year to Sh.627 billion in 2015/2016, which is an average increase of 11 per cent despite the fact that revenues were not growing.

By  Kiptanui  Cherono

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