The implementation of the salaries harmonisation programme for civil servants released last Friday will wait a bit longer, following a court order suspending the report.
The new job structure for more than 600,000 civil servants was released by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).
Employment and Labour Relations Court judge Linet Ndolo temporarily halted the programme pending the determination of a case filed by 42 county secretaries who claim that the commission demoted them from Job Group T to Job Group S irregularly.
By placing them in Job Group S, the secretaries said that as the heads of county governments, they are disenfranchised and this leaves the devolved units without a proper and clear line of administration.
The court heard that the Job Group T salary category for the county secretaries was set by the Transition Authority at between Sh152,060 and Sh302,980.
But the SRC, in a circular dated July 29, 2013, advised that the county secretaries be paid between Sh135,000 and Sh180,000 as basic salary.
“Members of the same job group (Job Group T) in the public service earn a salary of between Sh396,600 to Sh547,540. This is discriminatory and violates article 27 of the Constitution. It also amounts to unfair labour practice,” said lawyer Tom Ojienda, who filed the case.
Certifying the case as urgent, Justice Ndolo said the rights of the 42 secretaries will be prejudiced if the SRC goes ahead to implement the report.
In her ruling dated November 11, Justice Ndolo said: “Having read the pleadings and heard Prof Ojienda for the 42 petitioners, I do hereby grant a temporary injunction restraining SRC from implementing the salaries evaluation report affecting job positions pending hearing on November 22, 2016.”
The petitioners are seeking a permanent injunction restraining the commission, its representatives, employees, servants and/or agents or anybody working under or for it from implementing, releasing, circulating or in any way publishing final job evaluation results on the counties.
They are also seeking a declaration that they be compensated Sh1 million each or any other amount that the court deems sufficient and/or appropriate by the SRC for violating their constitutional rights.
He added that the SRC did not receive any views from all the 47 county secretaries.
However, he told the judge that two days before the official launch of the report, the SRC invited the secretaries to attend “a one-and-half hours programme for presentation of the preliminary job evaluations supposedly to obtain the contributions from the petitioners.”
The lawyer told the court the invitation was “ just ceremonial and a gimmick by the SRC to pretend that there was any participation”.
©Alleastafrica and Daily Nation