‘Strategic alternative to pay is top gov’t priority’

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His Highness the Deputy Amir and Crown Prince Sheikh Mishaal Al- Ahmad

KUWAIT CITY, June 22: Few days after the government took the oath before His Highness the Deputy Amir and Crown Prince Sheikh Mishaal Al- Ahmad, the concerned state authorities identified the most important priorities on the “research and approval agenda”, including the strategic alternative to salaries, reports Al-Qabas daily. In confirmation of the article titled “The Strategic Alternative to Salaries in the Final Touches”published by the daily on April 20, a government source revealed that the Civil Service Council had completed a study on the strategic alternative to salaries and submitted it to the Economic Committee of the Council of Ministers.

The source explained that the cost of the strategic alternative is close to one billion dinars annually, representing about 15 percent of the total allocations for the first chapter of the state budget. The strategic alternative to salaries aims at achieving justice among all job specializations in all government agencies, as well as equality between those with the same specialty in each agency. Regarding the salary increase mechanism and its rate, the source explained that an initial vision was set for the increase in the basic salary to be between 50 percent and 70 percent, according to unified standards for all Kuwaiti employees in the state agencies. The strategic alternative will be applied to current and new employees. More than 320,000 employees will benefit from it. Its implementation mechanism will include supporting employment at the same level.

The strategic alternative will include employees of a general cadre according to the basic salary, and will not include those of special cadres. The source indicated that this matter will be a top priority for the new government. He affirmed that the study carried out by the Civil Service Council showed that the strategic alternative would transform the public service system from the traditional system of seniority into a merit-based system linked to years of professional experience, functional competence and ability to achieve. The source noted that the strategic alternative to salaries will restore job groups and gradation with every job title in all jobs in the country, adding that a mechanism will be determined to amend or approve it as it is. He stressed that the most prominent aspect of the strategic alternative is that the potential increase will be unified for all workers in the state agencies.

The source explained that this mechanism is not just a financial increase in the salaries of employees, but rather an entry point for restoring job groups and grading with each job title in all jobs in the country. The strategic alternative aims at the salary due in exchange for all the tasks and responsibilities associated with a specific job title and to transfer the general position system and the salary system from the traditional seniority system to the merit-based system in order to develop the performance of workers in the state agencies, achieve a boom in productivity, motivate national cadres to exert more efforts and acquire the necessary skills to raise the level of government agencies.

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