Hike in public sector wages planned

Ministers are coming under increased pressure from lawmakers to increase the salaries of public sector employees.

In response to queries by a number of parliamentarians, the government is understood to have stated that though it is in favor of increasing wages, there were a number of financial and technical obstacles that made raising salaries difficult, including stiff objection to the move from the Civil Service Commission (CSC)

Various state entities have reportedly been petitioning the government for years to amend the salaries of its employees. The Public Institute for Social Security (PIFFS) is said to be considering a new proposal to amend the salary scale, after more than once asking in vain to increase the salaries of its employees. PIFSS said salaries of employees in other institutions have increased and this resulted in despair among employees and led to a number of high profile resignations from the institute in recent years.

For its part, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is believed to have prepared a full vision to increase some of its employees’ allowances and addressed the Civil Service in several correspondences in 2013, 2015 and until the end of 2017. The ministry pointed out that it had to seek the assistance of specialized outside companies after several highly qualified and experienced Kuwaiti and non-Kuwaiti personnel had resigned due to poor salaries and taken up jobs in newly formed government bodies or moved to private sector companies.

The only notable exceptions to CSC sanctioning wage increases are to the Kuwait Investment Authority, which finally received the go-ahead recently after having petitioned the CSC since 2016, and the Central Bank of Kuwait, which was also able to increase salaries of its employees lately.