National carrier Kenya Airways (KQ) has finally released March pay for its pilots following a pay cut stand off.
The airline, Kenya Airline Pilots Association (Kalpa) said, paid the pilots 75 percent of their pay instead of the 95 percent as requested.
According to Kalpa which represents 414 of the KQ pilots, the loss-making airline disbursed the pay on April 2.
The rest of the monies will apparently be paid when the airline is back up growth.
“KQ wired our March pay on Friday, April 2, 2021. They paid us the 70 percent they had been insisting on,” said Kalpa.
In a memo to the pilots dated March 25, KQ director of operations Paul Njoroge said pilots will not receive their March salaries until they drop their demands.
“Though management vividly explained to Kalpa the rationale of the proposed 70 per cent salary payout to pilots and sought consent for payment, Kalpa maintained that pilots should be paid salaries at 95 per cent and five per cent owed,” Mr Njoroge is quoted by Business Daily.
“Based on our current financial position, pilots’ salaries shall be delayed until when we receive a consent that is affordable.”
In January, KQ CEO Allan Kilavuka informed staffers that the company would be cutting employee salaries by between 5 percent and 30 percent for employees earning Ksh45,000 and above.
“We listened to your feedback to consider using pay ranges as a variation of pay rather than Hay grades due to the significant pay discrepancies across several grades. We, therefore, propose that the variation of pay across the company be based on pay ranges. The salary used to determine the pay ranges is your basic pay and all fixed allowances,” said Kivaluka.
This occasioned a tussle between the airline and Kenya Aviation Workers Union (KAWU).
Aviation workers argued that KQ management was using imaginary powers to slash the salaries. Ndiema says that salaries of unionisable employees can only be reduced after an agreement with the union.
The airline recorded a Ksh36.57 loss before tax in the financial year ended December 2020.
Revenues for the cash strapped carrier dipped by more than half during the period, even as lockdown measures to reduce the spread of Covid-19 took toll on business. The revenue shrunk by 59 percent to Ksh52.8 billion from Ksh128.3 billion in 2019.