The cabinet secretary of Public Service, Gender and Affirmative Action Aisha Jumwa has affirmed that teachers will not be left behind in a new plan to review salaries upward.
Speaking yesterday Jumwa said that salaries for all public service workers will be reviewed in a bid to boost their morale.
Addressing the media after a tour of the Kenya School of Government in Mombasa, she said that the public service was demoralized adding that something needed to be done quickly to change that.
The CS cleared the air on whether teachers are part of those planned to get payrise in the next one hundred days.
Jumwa said that as a ministry, they have a duty to review the salaries and working conditions of all public servants saying that they will wait for the money to come in to implement the changes.
“My intention is very clear and I will begin the conversation to achieve this, in the meantime, I am going to engage all the relevant ministries and government agencies to ensure that we actualize this,” said Jumwa.
This was Jumwa’s first official visit in her capacity as a CS to Mombasa and the coast region since she was sworn into office last week.
She was also at the facility to address 41 newly appointed public officers undergoing an induction workshop.
“I came into this office that was already dealing with a myriad of challenges, top on the list being that the public service is demoralized, which is true,” she said.
“Mine is to ensure that I have facilitated the conversation to make sure that we are getting to a point of revamping the public service by boosting their morale and giving them a conducive working environment,” she added.
There are at least 923,000 public servants in the country which include 330,000 teachers whose wage bill stands at more than Sh890 billion annually.
She however noted that it will not be easy given that the country was already grappling with tough economic times and a ballooning public wage bill.
The CS said that the government had the intention to improve the productivity of public servants saying that this would be achieved by motivating them and raising their morale.
While in an inspection tour of Nairobi Huduma Centre on Monday the CS had said that the country was facing a shortage of public servants saying that slightly above 900,000 people were serving the country’s population which was about 50 million.
Her pledge comes at a time the IMF is pushing government for job cuts and a reduction in the wage bill.
But Jumwa maintained the country’s wage bill is manageable and that there is money to cater for the salary increment.
“We have 900,000 people working for 50 million Kenyans. Who says we have a bloated wage bill? The country has enough money to give the public servants a pay rise and carry on with its development agenda,” said Jumwa earlier after conducting an inspection tour of Nairobi Huduma Centre.
She said that the staff were overstretched and overworked adding that the number needed to be increased to ensure that Kenyans get quality and efficient government services.
“Civil servants are a demoralised lot and we don’t want to see them suffering. They are unable to cope with the high cost of living occasioned by runaway inflation. As Kenya Kwanza Government, we want to revamp their morale by increasing their salaries as soon as possible,” said Ms Jumwa.
“I am a leader and a mother too. I know a majority of the public servants are grappling to pay school fees for their children, pay rent and fend for their families. It’s a sad state of affairs but I have come to solve the problem so that they can live a dignified life.”
The Cabinet secretary said if public servants are well remunerated, there will be no corruption cases.
Jumwa said a technical committee will be formed to review and make recommendations of the appropriate pay rise which will be effected by one hundred days.
While on a tour of the Teleposter building in Nairobi that hosts the huduma secretariat, Jumwa announced that all huduma centres will be working from 7am to 7pm.
She said that staff will be working in shifts all to ensure that Kenyans get government services on time in line with the president’s agenda.
“I will not be a CS who sits in the office, I will be at the grassroots to see that Kenyans get services that they deserve,” she said.