Civil servants to pocket hefty salaries

Civil servants to pocket hefty salaries
Information Minister Michael Makuei said that plans are a foot to increase workers’ pay. [Courtesy]

The government is mulling the formation of a technical committee to review the new civil servants’ salaries to match the demands of the economy. 

“The last time we increased the salary by 100 per cent, [but] the 100 per cent to a solider is nothing because if the salary was SSP1,200, then it will be SSP 2,400. So, we have decided to set up a technical committee to work out a new salary structure altogether in accordance with the situation on the ground,” said Michael Makuei Information Minister.

Makuei said the committee to be established shall jointly work together with the ministry of public service. 

“It’s thereafter that a presentation will be made and the government will be in a position to decide what to do and also put into consideration the amendment of the payment and privileges act which was the law governing the salaries of the constitution post holders,” Makuei explained.

Salary ranges

Soldiers, police officers, and teachers, in particular, are said to be living in deplorable conditions across the country.

A nurse or midwife earns between SSP 2,000 and SSP 5,000 per month, whereas doctors are paid SSP 6,840.

The average wage for a soldier without a rank is around SSP 1,500 which is too insufficient to cover their food, housing, transportation, and other necessities. These amounts can barely sustain the civil servants given the ongoing market chaos, where puts the country’s inflation at 24 per cent in 2022.

However, President Salva Kiir previously stated that he was aware of the matter and had vowed to make changes to the payment mechanism.

“I am aware that our civil scales are not being paid on time and they have endured irregularly [paid] salaries payment for a long time.

  “I am also aware that salary structure has not been reviewed since we switched to our currency in 2015,” Kiir said during the July 9, 2021 address.

He instructed the ministries of finance and petroleum to set aside 5,000 barrels for the payment of government employees’ salaries.

“I am asking the two ministries of Finance and Economic Planning and Petroleum to dedicate 5,000 barrels of crude oil per day to bolster the government’s financial status so that salaries and operation fund payments can be regularised,” he stated.

 Last year, days after the unity government announced a fiscal budget of over SSP 600 billion, President Salva Kiir declared that his government had increased salaries for all civil employees by 100%.

“In the 2021/2022 budget, the government has resolved to increase salaries by 100 per cent as phase one with immediate effect and fully review late on during the fiscal year when the economy improves,” President Kiir said 

The president also directed the minister of finance and planning during the nation’s address on July 9, 2021, to clear all the arrears to start paying salaries regularly.