Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary General Francis Atwoli has castigated the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) for allegedly frustrating independent pay talks between employers and trade unions.
Speaking during celebrations to mark Labour Day at Nyayo Stadium, Atwoli said SRC’s only role is an advisory one noting that workers’ earnings are protected by International Labour Conventions.
The Secretary-General said there was discontent within the civil service which he attributed to continued frustration by the commission.
“ We fought for SRC to be in our constitution to undertake an advisory role but little did we know it will usurp powers of free and independent collective bargaining. This has caused unhappiness with public service. SRC is not supposed to set wages and income for workers” he observed.
The Union labelled the commission a stumbling block” to fair labour practices, that promote independent negotiations and as such should be disbanded.
He said state officers working for parastatals could not get a pay hike even after the employer’s undertaking to review salaries.
“ ILO convention advocates for free and fair bargaining on a give and take basis. We negotiate and a parastatal agrees to pay then SRC comes in to say no or dictate what to be paid. MPs must revisit this issue”
On his part, Labour and Social Protection Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui lauded the president for actions taken to protect workers at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.