As strikes in Kuwait continue, the country’s Civil Service Commission (CSC) has confirmed that nationals working in both the public and private sector will receive a 25 percent increase in their salaries.
The minimum increase in salary will be KD50 (US$179) a month, according to a statement released by the commission on Sunday. Expatriates working in the public sector will also receive a KD50 pay rise.
Meanwhile, Kuwaiti retirees will see their pensions rise by 12.5 percent.
State news agency KUNA said that the CSC had also decided to increase allowances for shift, night shift and food by “three times as many as the present sum”.
The move comes amid a wave of actual and threatened strikes by unions, which have resulted in the cancellation of several flights by state carrier Kuwait Airways and a walk-out by customs officials.
The unions are unlikely to be placated with the government’s proposals. Speaking to Kuwaiti media, National Union of Kuwait Workers and Employees official Ajmi Al Mutalaqim said that the salary increments were unsatisfactory and that retirees needed at least a 30 percent increase in their pensions.
The decision follows recent moves by other Gulf states to push up civil servants’ salaries.
In September last year, Qatar ordered that all nationals working in the public sector should receive a 60 percent increase in their salaries, while officers in the country’s military saw hikes of 120 percent.
In the first quarter of 2011, Saudi Arabia handed out two-month salary bonuses to all public sector employees, a move that was largely replicated by the private sector.
In the UAE, federal government employees have received pay rises of between 35 and 45 percent, effective from January this year.