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SRC to roll out new appraisal criteria for dons

By Irene Githinji
Friday, November 6th, 2020
Universities Academic Staff Union secretary general Constantine Wasonga.
In summary
    • Salaries Remuneration Commission (SRC) Secretary, Anne Gitau has assured Universities Academic Staff Union (UASU) that the job evaluation system deployed is analytical with inbuilt mechanisms.
    • Templates provided for this purpose can be customised by public sector institutions’ Job Descriptions Analysis Committee (JDACs) during development of job descriptions.

Lecturers in public universities will now be subjected to a job evaluation exercise to guide the 2021/22-2024/25 remuneration review cycle.

Salaries Remuneration Commission (SRC) Secretary, Anne Gitau has assured Universities Academic Staff Union (UASU) that the job evaluation system deployed is analytical and has in-built mechanisms to effectively analyse both quantitative and qualitative aspect roles.

“SRC conducts job evaluation using analytical and point factor based job evaluation system which evaluates jobs using the SRC’s compensable factors.

In this regard, SRC will deploy PriceWaterhouse Coopers REMeasure job evaluation system, which was customised and used to evaluate jobs in public universities in 2015/16 to evaluate jobs in public universities for 2021/22 – 2024/25 remuneration review cycle,” said SRC is a letter to UASU Secretary General, Dr Constantine Wasonga.

Gitau explained that compensable factors are those that are cross cutting and similar in all public sector institutions.

She also said that there are other compensable factors specific to institutions such as sapiential authority, which is specific to public universities and such are inbuilt in the job evaluation system used by SRC.

“Taking into account the uniqueness of roles in public universities, sapiential authority as a compensable factor was and still is applicable to public universities during job evaluation for 2021/22 – 2024/25 remuneration review cycle,” Gitau added.

She said that templates provided for this purpose can be customised by public sector institutions’ Job Descriptions Analysis Committee (JDACs) during development of job descriptions as long as the generally acceptable standards are adhered to.

Gitau said JDACs for public universities are therefore required to customise the template to capture aspects which are unique to public universities.

“SRC is available for a meeting to clarify issues relating to job evaluation for jobs in public universities.

SRC requests you to channel the issues through your employing institutions and through Inter Public Universities Council Consultative Forum (IPUCCF) who will in turn present issues during the meeting to be convened at the convenes of SRC and IPUCCF,” said Gitau.

UASU previously protested job evaluation for lecturers terming it as defective, saying it did not take into consideration the entire scope of lecturers’ job.

They demanded that the evaluation process be halted until a suitable method is identified and sought legal redress over the matter.

Grade jobs

Wasonga said the Paterson tool relied on the REMeasures method which grades jobs solely on the criteria of decision-making, which is not a function delegated to lecturers by law.

However, lecturers suffered a blow in their push to be ranked higher than administrative staff in their institutions after the Labour Court in Nairobi dismissed their case.

The court, while dismissing the case, said lecturers were involved from the inception of the job evaluation exercise and their rights had not been violated.

Recently, UASU protested the model being used to implement their 2017/2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) saying it is characterised by distortions and exclusion.

Wasonga blamed SRC for their woes, even as they accused the Commission of adopting a method never heard of since the union started negotiating CBA in 2003.

“The problem we have has been created by SRC since it is trying to use a method that has never been used ever before, they want to use horizontal method to pay workers the least possible compensation. This method is subject to abuse,” Wasonga protested.

Wasonga said different public universities have paid academic staff who were at identical grades and notches in the base year, 2016/2017 financial year and with identical pay progression, different arrears contrary to what they negotiated for.

He also said that many public universities have unfairly denied employees promotions and annual increments when implementing the CBA.

“Public universities are implementing the CBAs in non transparent manner, characterized by pay distortions, reduced salaries for some academic staff, freezing of promotions, lack of uniformity of pay of staff in same grades among others,” said Wasonga.

He explained that lecturers have different notches, which spell out their seniority saying that horizontal approach will not only be inappropriate for promotions but will also render them static in one job group.

Should the SRC insist on the horizontal method, Wasonga said the union will be forced to demand for the highest salary structures for lecturers because it means they will remain in one position for a long time.

“Why do we have notches in the first place? If they do not want people to move to the next level the salary will be calculated and equalled to different notches and I can assure you the Government will lose, it will be so expensive because we will go for the highest salaries in specific notches,” he uttered.