Civil servants are set to receive a pay rise after the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) adjusted their housing allowances.
For instance, Nairobi-based civil officials in job group K will now earn a monthly house allowance of Sh16,500 instead of Sh10,000 under the revised rates.
The salary increase for Nairobi-based public officers in job category A, which includes drivers, personal secretaries, cleaners, and messengers, from Sh3,000 to Sh3,750 per month is sure to disappoint many given how much below current market values it remains.
“The new rates for the house allowances shall apply to all public officers, other than state officers at the national and county government, including state corporations from the scheduled effective date of implementation. Respective employers in the civil service should initiate Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) with the relevant trade unions in the implementation of the reviewed/harmonized herein” SRC said in a circular.
Public employees who reside in any of the formerly significant municipalities—Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, Nyeri, Eldoret, Thika, Kisii, Malindi, and Kitale—will receive the same housing allowance under the review.
For instance, the allowance for civil officials in job group K working in the nine former municipalities will increase to Sh12,000 from Sh8,000.
Their coworkers in similar positions in other former municipalities will now receive Sh5,800 instead of Sh3,500.
Civil servants have been under pressure for housing amid surges in rental charges for both public and private sector-owned units.
The State Department for Housing, for example, raised rents on all government-owned houses by 10 percent effective April 1, 2022.
The state argued that there have been several reviews on house allowance for civil servants since 2001 yet the amounts they pay in rent have remained stagnant.
Meanwhile, civil servants will now receive uniform hardship allowance rates after the SRC abolished a system where such payouts were based on basic salary.
“Hardship allowance is to be paid at a flat rate for all equivalent grades across the public service, both at county and national government. SRC has abolished pegging the allowance as a percentage of the basic salary” the commission said.
The lowest-ranking officers in Job Group A will draw a uniform hardship allowance of Sh2,800 a month while the highest-ranked job group T will draw Sh60,000.
Mid-tier officers in job groups K, L, and M will get Sh10,900, Sh12,300, and Sh14,650, respectively.
The housing and hardship allowance reviews form part of changes being effected by SRC to spur performance while limiting the strain on public coffers.
In December, the SRC revealed changes in several allowances, including those for meals and retreats.
In the changes, civil servants who draw daily subsistence allowance while on assignment outside their work stations will no longer draw meal stipends.