Lodwar, 5th June 2023 (Governor’s Press Service) – Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) officials led by Chairperson Lyn Mengich today met with senior county government officials. The delegation, which included a commissioner and members of the secretariat, is in the county to undertake monitoring and evaluation and receive feedback on SRC advice on remuneration and benefits of staff.
Mengich said the ongoing exercise was meant to understand what was unique to the county in terms of remuneration even as the commission prepares for a review of the pay of public officers, set to be implemented in July. The review follows a salary freeze in the last two years as the country grappled with the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The meeting discussed challenges the County Government was facing in implementing principles guiding SRC advice, including the need to ensure that the total public compensation bill is fiscally sustainable; attraction and retention of the skills; and recognition of productivity and performance.
County Secretary Peter Eripete called for support from SRC to help the county attract and retain rare skills in critical sectors such as health and engineering, where the county has suffered exits and struggled to replace the staff.
He said the county was in the process of undertaking major development projects including the establishment of a level 6 hospital which will raise the need for the recruitment of more specialists.
The CS highlighted other challenges including the vastness of Turkana and the fact the county was striving to provide services to a majority of residents who were pastoralists, which meant that it costs more. He said special consideration was needed to ensure fairness in remuneration in line with the principle of equal pay for work of equal value.
County Executive for Public Service, Administration and Disaster Management James Wangiros echoed the CS’s call for consideration of the geographical vastness of counties in the SRC’s advice on remuneration. He stated that the County Government had a responsibility of filling gaps in the human resource to improve service delivery, which will raise the current wage bill.
County Public Service Board Secretary Fransisca Bartoo asked SRC to review rates of allowances for Turkana County due to the high cost of living compared to other counties.
Mengich assured the county officials that the commission was willing to engage counties with special cases and urged the County Government to submit proposals on challenges specific to Turkana County. She revealed that the new pay structure will include ECDE teachers who will be remunerated as other public servants.
Others in the delegation were Commissioner Sophie Moturi and members of the SRC secretariat Cleophas Wangombe and Hellen Simiyu.
Deputy County Secretary Joseph Nyang’a; CPSB Commissioner Maj. (Rtd) Daniel Ingolan; Chief Officers Derick Epae (Administration and Disaster Management), Cicilia Majuma (Public Service) and James Ilikwel (Finance); Chief of Staff Peter Yoromoe; Directors Chris Locheria (Human Resource) and Nicholas Maiyo (Budget); Principal Human Resource Officer Joseph Ng’atotin and Chief HR Officer- Payroll James Eyen were also present.