30 January 2013

Kenya: 1,800 Kenya Ports Authority Managers Await Pay Decision

Kenya Ports Authority middle-level managers will today know the fate over their salary and allowance increase. Managing director Gichiri Ndua is expected to address the situation that led to a sit-in by the 1,850 junior and middle-level officers on Monday.

They are protesting the delay of the salary increase awarded to them by the KPA board three months ago. "Today, we will know whether we will continue with work or we will go on strike," said George Olang', the Kenya Port Managers Workers Union (Kepmawu) interim general secretary.

"This will depend on the outcome of the meeting with the MD." The managers, who are responsible for the day-to-day running of the port activities, had threatened to paralyse operations, after the lapse of the January 26 deadline.

That is the deadline they had given the top management to sort out the issue. Olang' said they have not been awarded any salary raise in the last four years.

The junior and middle-level salaries and allowances are supposed to be reviewed after every two years. The last review was in July 2009.

Olang' on Monday said the salary delay is agitating the managers The KPA board has forwarded the Kepmawu's proposal to the Transport ministry.

The ministry then forwarded the proposal to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission. But Attorney General Githu Muigai said KPA, as a parastatal, generates its own revenue, so their salary issues cannot be taken to the commission.

"To our surprise, the MD went ahead and forwarded the matter to the commission," said Olang'. Ndua, however, has called for patience and explained that the delay is due to the change of guard in the Transport PS' office.

"The delay is regretted. It should, however, be appreciated that it was inevitable following the change of guard in the permanent secretary's office," read the letter.

The letter further said, "the festive season saw many government officers proceed on leave and normal business resumed last week.

The new permanent secretary is settling down very fast and we have adequately briefed him." On Monday, KPA operations general manager Captain Twalib Khamis met the junior and middle-level managers and assured them their issue is being tackled by the government. "We have explained the situation to the government," said Khamis.

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