Kenya: BBI Initiative Would Have Resolved SRC Issues, but It Was Rejected – Uhuru

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Nairobi — President Uhuru Kenyatta has said that the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) constitutional amendment bill would have resolved the issue of the Salary and Remuneration Commission (SRC) overstepping its mandate in respect to workers’ grievances if passed.

President Kenyatta was responding to a plea from Central Organization Trade Union (COTU) Secretary General Francis Atwoli who had urged the government to relook into the SRC issue, blaming it for curtailing efforts to review workers’ minimum wage.

“My brother Raila and I tried our best, we traversed this country drumming up support for the amendment of some sections of the constitution which we thought were posing a problem to Kenyans, but other people opposed it,” he said, “let it be solved at the election.”

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President Kenyatta’s comments come exactly two months after the Supreme Court upheld the Appeals Court decision on the constitutional amendment process after ruling that it was unconstitutional.

The majority ruling by a seven-judge bench found that President Kenyatta’s involvement in the process was unlawful.

President Kenyatta stated that the decision to amend or on not to amend the constitution rests with Kenyans and the next administration.

The Head of State on Sunday said that the country has the best constitution in place, “but there are some sections that needed to be amended” to address the challenges affecting Kenyans including workers.

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Atwoli who spoke during Labour Day celebrations at Nyayo National Stadium said SRC has frustrated civil servants and public service unions.

The COTU boss said that the initial role of the SRC was an advisory role but has since overstepped its role by interfering with the Collective Bargaining Agreement between workers and their employers.

He appealed to the members of the National Assembly to revisit the issue of SRC usurping powers of other organizations.

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“SRC was put in place only to advise not to usurp the social partners’ responsibility of free and independently collective bargaining,” he said.

He noted that workers all over the world and the employers are supposed to negotiate pointing out that “there is nowhere in the world where CBA can be in place for four years when the economic performance is dynamic.”

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