The monthly salaries of county workers are set to rise by up to seven percent after the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) concluded an annual pay review.
The 190,000 staff serving under the county public service boards and the county assembly service boards will get raises of between Sh1,080 and Sh2,170, depending on their job groups effective July 1,2020.
Under the review, employees in Job Group A, the lowest rank at the counties, will now earn Sh14,150 a month, up from Sh13,250 — reflecting a growth of 6.8 percent.
Those in Job Group S, the highest rank affected by the reviews, will now earn Sh197,800, up from Sh195,410.
Governors, deputy governors, members of the county assemblies (MCAs) and county executives are not part of the pay deal.
The pay review is the final one under a 2017 deal that was staggered for four years to ease a cash burden on the 47 devolved units while ensuring workers are appropriately compensated for inflation.
“The salaries advised by the commission, vide circulars dated July 9, 2020, were for public officers or civil servants employed under the County Public Service Boards and the County Assembly Service Boards,” the SRC said in response to Business Daily queries Tuesday.
“The circulars factor the fourth and final phase of implementation of salary structures for job evaluation for public officers serving in county governments.”
The counties’ wage bill rose by a fifth in the nine months to March to Sh126.28 billion, reflecting the financial burden of hiring frenzies and rapid salary increases in the devolved units.
The Controller of Budget in her latest report says that the cumulative salaries paid by counties over the nine months to March jumped 4.76 percent from Sh120.54 billion during a similar period in the 2018/19 financial year. While the national government has gone slow on hiring, counties have stepped up recruitment in recent years, squeezing allocation for development projects like building roads, water and sewerage infrastructure.
Official data shows the number of county employees rose to 190,000 by end of 2019 from 94,700 in 2013 — the first year under devolution — reflecting a 100.6 percent growth.
Workers under the national government have increased 10 percent to 197,600 over the five years to 2017.
The amount of money counties spent on employee compensation in the nine months to March is more than double the Sh49.78 billion they spent on development and accounted for 65.8 percent of the total expenditure.
The pay rise will pile more pressure on the public wage bill that the SRC projected would rise to Sh830 billion in the year ended last month, up from Sh795 billion in 2018/19.
The agency that is responsible for setting and regulating salaries of public officers, however, maintained the house allowances for county employees that was adopted in August 2015. County staff earn between Sh2,250 and Sh100,000 in house allowances, with the highest earners in Nairobi, followed by those in Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, Nyeri, Eldoret, Thika, Kisii, Malindi and Kitale who get between Sh3,125 and Sh70,000.
County employees in the remaining 37 counties earn between Sh2,500 and Sh60,000 in monthly house allowances.