NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 27 — Trade unionist Francis Atwoli has faulted the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) over what he has termed as “provocative attempts aimed at interfering with freely negotiated Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs)” against the national constitution.

The Central Organization of Trade Unions (Kenya), COTU (K) Secretary-General rejected the move by the SRC to proceed with the proposed Remuneration and Benefits of State and Other Public Officers Regulations 2022, which provide for a 4-year review cycle among other guidelines.

Atwoli stated that the International Labour Organization, ILO, Convention 95 of 1949 is very clear on the protection of wages for every individual.

“Having joined other key partners in giving our written submissions, as attached, and also participating in the key partners engagement meetings on Friday, 4 March 2022, we would like to, first, call out SRC for engaging the public and key partners in collecting their views, on the said regulation, only for them to completely disregard the concerns and comments of the parties involved,” Atwoli said.

He went on to say that SRC, “has become megalomaniac and rogue and is now demanding to have further powers to decide on when any CBA negotiations should be conducted, the amount to award, and even also approve any CBA prior to implementation.”

He pointed out that the umbrella workers’ body will not sit back and watch SRC continue to deny Kenyan workers their rights to fair remuneration.

Atwoli warned that failure to tame SRC powers could lead to the isolation of Kenya from the community of nations.

“If SRC is not tamed, Kenya will be cited by the ILO for interfering with the 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work which Kenya has committed to respect and protect. ILO, being a UN agency, will further escalate this matter within the UN and thus making Kenya face various sanctions globally and, equally, be named among the countries frustrating Fair and Free Collective Bargaining Negotiations among workers,” he added.

By Fred Azelwa.