TSC allowances- The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) is planning to unveil major changes in the allowances paid to teachers and civil servants. The radical surgery will see some of the allowances being abolished and others restructured.
A 2019 study by SRC identified 247 allowances paid to public officers, which accounted for 48 per cent of the total wage bill as of 2019. This was against 31 allowances in 1999. The Public Finance Management (PFM) Act 2015 stipulates that the national government’s expenditure on the wage bill should not exceed 35 per cent of ordinary revenue.
In the current salaries review exercise SRC aims at minimizing disparities in gross remuneration package with the ultimate aim being to cap allowances at 40 per cent of basic pay.
While addressing journalists, recently, Chairperson Lyn Mengich said the new cycle may take effect six months after June, a time when the commission projects to have completed the review.
“Everybody will be affected. Some will impact more on other sectors of the employees. New employees will be affected where an allowance is being abolished. If provided for in a contractual obligation, it will not affect immediate staff enjoying that benefit,” She said.
Why SRC is reviewing the allowances
To avoid duplication, redundancy, disparities and varied eligibility criteria, allowances payable in the Public Service shall be harmonized and streamlined as follows:
- Allowances and benefits that are paid for similar purposes but have different names shall be merged and renamed;
- Allowances and benefits whose rates are not commensurate with the intended purpose shall be restructured;
- Allowances and benefits whose current form does not change shall be retained; and
- Allowances and benefits whose rationale for payment is redundant and or overlaps with that of the basic salary shall be abolished.
The Commission says allowances and benefits shall not be paid for purposes that are already compensated for in the basic salary thus resulting in a remuneration package that exceeds the relative worth of a job.
Streamlining of Allowances and Benefits
To avoid duplication, redundancy, disparities and varied eligibility criteria, allowances payable in the Public Service shall be streamlined by:
- Merging and renaming allowances and benefits that are paid for similar purposes but have different names;
- Restructuring allowances and benefits whose rates are not commensurate with the intended purpose;
- Retaining allowances and benefits whose current form does not change; and
- Abolishing allowances and benefits whose rationale for payment is redundant and or overlaps with that of the basic salary.
Reviewed TSC allowances
TSC allowances that will be restructured include:
Annual Leave Allowance
It is an allowance that is paid once in a year to teachers while on leave; usually paid with the January salaries. The Commission is intending to review this allowance due to the following reasons:
- The wide banding of job group eligible for Annual Leave Allowance is discriminative;
- There is a disparity in the rates payable in the Public Service.
- Some public sector institutions pay Annual Leave Allowance as a percentage of the basic salary, other institutions pay Annual Leave Allowance as an absolute figure.
- Some public institutions allow for commutation of non-utilized leave days for cash.
Consequently, this is how the annual leave should be paid;
The Annual Leave Allowance shall be paid in absolute figure and not a percentage of basic salary. Indeed, this how TSC pays the annual leave for teachers and hence no much changes are expected here.
The SRC shall review the banding structure in the Annual Leave Allowance payments to provide clarity in banding and rates payable by the teacher’s grade.
This is an allowance that is paid to teachers deployed in designated hardship areas. The allowance is meant to compensate teachers working in the Hardship Areas to compensate them for lack of basic social services and amenities, security risk, harsh climatic conditions, isolation and family separation.
Some teachers are set to lose the hardship allowance because the designated hardship areas shall be reviewed, by the relevant government institution/s to reflect changes in designated hardship areas arising from benefits of devolution and Equalization Fund. This is because devolution has implied that Counties are no longer necessarily hardship areas since they are receiving equalization funds to promote development in the counties thereby addressing the characteristics of hardship areas.
This is an allowance paid to teachers in administrative posts. SRC has since abolished this allowance because the purpose for which the allowance is paid has been factored in the relative worth of the job through the job undertaken by the Commission. Indeed, this allowance was incorporated in the basic salaries for teachers holding administrative roles.
The allowances are paid alongside monthly salary based on the job group to cater for outpatient medical treatment. The allowance has now been abolished. Teachers lost their medical allowance some time back; and, part of it is paid to the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF; which is a statutory deduction) and the remaining goes to the TSC procured medical insurance scheme, AON-Minet.
Related news feed;
List of TSC Allowances and Benefits to be Retained
The following allowances shall not be modified:
|3||Disability Guide Allowance|