Home | Education & Books | Kenya Constitution 2010 Fiscal Sustainable & Fair Pay for Teachers is Kshs 204 billion from Kshs 568 billion

Kenya Constitution 2010 Fiscal Sustainable & Fair Pay for Teachers is Kshs 204 billion from Kshs 568 billion

Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font
Kenya Constitution can lift Kenya high up. Kenya Constitution can lift Kenya high up.

“The new constitution established the Salaries and Remuneration Commission for the first time in our history, and conferred on it the mandate of managing the remuneration of public officers, including teachers. The mandate of the SRC is to set, review and advise on the remuneration of all state and public servants, including teachers and myself, with a view to ensuring that the public wage bill is fiscally sustainable. At the moment, our public wage bill accounts for 52% of revenue,” said President Uhuru Kenyatta.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is right to ensure that no increase occurs of the Kshs 568 billion wage bill. However the SRC failed in its Kenya Constitution 2010 role. If the 280,000 teachers (41%) of 680,000 were paid 41% of 568 billion they would get Kshs 234 billion without adjusting the 52% (Kshs 568 billion). However, adjusted based on Constitution 230 5 (b) the fiscal sustainable and fair pay of 41% (280,000 Kenyans out of 680,000 Kenyans) from a budget of Kshs 568 billion should not be less than 36% or Kshs 204 billion. The current Kshs 174 billion is what is not in line with constitution all other factors held constant.   

The Kenya Constitution should not be blamed. The constitution creates the most perfect way of setting salaries. The current strike should be seen more as a debate on the constitution based on finding that sustainable pay. Using a car as an example. There is the load a car can carry as the sustainable load for the engine to work. Currently this is Kshs 568 billion and this cannot be increased. On the other hand, there is the right distribution of tire pressure to ensure a car drives smoothly and does not have tire bursts. It is this sustainability that is wrong. This can only be corrected based on understanding, Kenya constitution 230. 

Constitution 230 (4) The powers and functions of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission shall be to— (a) set and regularly review the remuneration and benefits of all State officers; and (b) advise the national and county governments on the remuneration and benefits of all other public officers.

The constitution gives the power to a 14 member Salaries & Remuneration Commission to “SET,” the State Officers pay. This achieved by a majority vote from 11 voting Commissioners. 10 of this voting commissioners representing, (1) Parliament Service, (2) Public Service, (3) Judicial Service, (4) Teachers Service, (5) National Police, (6) Defence,  (7) County Governments, (8) Trade unions, (9) Private Sector Employers, and (10) Professional bodies. 

The 680,000 Kenyans working in the public sector are represented by 8 commissioners based on 8 sectors they work and two commissioners represent the private sector.  

Constitution 230 (5) In performing its functions, the Commission shall take the following principles into account— (a) the need to ensure that the total public compensation bill is fiscally sustainable; (b) the need to ensure that the public services are able to attract and retain the skills required to execute their functions; (c) the need to recognise productivity and performance; and (d) transparency and fairness.

230 (4) The powers and functions of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission shall be to— (a) set and regularly review the remuneration and benefits of all State officers.

Applying Constitution 230 (5)

Current Estimated Economic Data for Kenya 

  1. Kenya total workforce 18 years and older….. 21 million
  2. Kenya Gross Domestic Product………Kshs 5.3 trillion 
  3. Kenya taxation revenue…………..Kshs 1.1 trillion  
  4. Public Wage Bill………………….Kshs 568 billion 
  5. Public Employees…….680,000

230 5 (a) The need to ensure that the total public compensation bill is fiscally sustainable

Calculating sustainability involves finding the middle point between Private Sector and Public Sector. This point is calculated by having the average of public sector pay equated to the average of private sector. Using this data (Kshs568 billion divided by 680,000 public employees) should be almost equal to (Kshs 5.3 trillion minus Kshs 568 billion divided by 21 million minus 680,000). When we apply the formula we get the results per table below. 


Total pay Kshs


Yearly Pay Average

Monthly Average

Nation Workforce





Public Workers





Private Workers





This shows the public sector wage bill should be employing more people or should be less. A 19,000 to 69,000 ratio is not only unsustainable, but it limits the growth of the economy and creates more unemployment. The SRC commission role is to get this to where this is almost equal if fiscally sustainable pay will be achieved. 

The second fiscal sustainability is based on how the pay is distributed. The table below shows an example of the current estimate where about 80,000 take 50% of the budget of 568 million and 600,000 the other 50% of budget.

Scale Kshs





600,000 – 1,800,000





300,000 - 599,000





100,000 - 299,000





50,000 - 99,000





20,000 - 49,999





10,000 - 19,999










230 5 (b) The need to ensure that the public services are able to attract and retain the skills required to execute their functions.
In any country, there are some unique jobs mainly involving a field of expertise like: Medical, Economics, Legal, Sciences and even in fields of Education. Persons with this special talent can easily be lured by the other nations. This constitution law provides for this.  
230 5 (c) The need to recognise productivity and performance
This is the promotional scale based on entry point and performance.  
230 5 (d) Transparency and fairness
This is the requirement that the public know the wage bill and it is fair.  Based on President Uhuru Kenya remark, “In this financial year, KSh174 billion was set aside to pay teachers.” This tested against a fair and sustainable system of 280,000 teachers as a percentage of 680,000 and Kshs 174 billion as a percentage of 568 million has teachers as 41% of the 680,000 public sector employees getting 31% of the Kshs 568 billion.  This fails the fair and sustainable system. A fair and sustainable amount would be at about 36% with 5% set aside to provide for the special skills required as per 230 5 (b). This is mainly in medical and investigative services.  
Constitution 230 14 member system and voting  
Understanding the role of SRC 14 commissioners? Why 11 vote? Why 3 are nominated and don’t vote? Why the 10 are nominated the way they are? Why parliament wasn’t granted any power to legislate on the commission? 
Voting members
  • 230. (1) There is established the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.
  • (2) The Salaries and Remuneration Commission consists of the following persons appointed by the President— 
  • 1. (a) a chairperson; (Commissioner 1)
  • (b) one person each nominated by the following bodies from among persons who are not members or employees of those bodies— 
  • (i) the Parliamentary Service Commission; (Commissioner 2)
  • (ii) the Public Service Commission; (Commissioner 3)
  • (iii) the Judicial Service Commission; (Commissioner 4)
  • (iv) the Teachers Service Commission; (Commissioner 5)
  • (v) the National Police Service Commission; (Commissioner 6)
  • (vi) the Defence Council; and (Commissioner 7)
  • (vii) the Senate, on behalf of the county governments; (Commissioner 8)
  • (c) one person each nominated by— 
  • (i) an umbrella body representing trade unions; (Commissioner 9)
  • (ii) an umbrella body representing employers; and (Commissioner 10)
  • (iii) a joint forum of professional bodies as provided by legislation; (Commissioner 11)
Non Voting members
  • (d) one person each nominated by—
  • 12. (i) the Cabinet Secretary responsible for finance; and (Commissioner 12)
  • 13. (ii) the Attorney-General; and (Commissioner 13)
  • 14. (e) one person who has experience in the management of human resources in the public service, nominated by the Cabinet Secretary for public service. (Commissioner 14)
  • (3) The Commissioners under clause (1) (d) and (e) shall have no vote
The process to Fiscal Sustainable and Fair Pay set-up  
  1. The public during the election okays the plan that will be implemented in 5 years by electing the best plan. 
  2. The Executive offer the budget. Per President Uhuru Kenyatta remarks the budget is a Kshs 1.1 trillion tax. 680,000 persons employed in the public sector. Kshs 568 billion wage pay for all public employees.  
  3. The Commissioner representing the Cabinet Secretary of Treasury goes to the commission and gives the figure set and the sustainable points the party in power would want to be achieved. For example a party can take the position of the lowest and highest pay cannot be over 20 times with exemption of cases under special talent. E.g. If the lowest pay is 20,000 the highest be Kshs 400,000 or if one starts with the highest say Kshs 1 million the lowest is set Kshs 50,000 by this rule. Another position a political party can take is the number to employ based on their five year plan.     
  4. The 11 members, each representing the interests of the persons they represent would then discuss this and the best model of pay based on the available amount would arise. The representatives of the private sector goal is to ensure that the wage billion meets the needs of private sector based on security and economic growth so they can sell their products. For example private sector in Kenya would grow faster if Kshs 30 billion went to the pockets of 280,000 teachers as opposed to a few individuals who could end up spending the money abroad thus not benefitting the private sector.    
  5. The 3 non-voting commissioner's role to continuously guide the process with the legal person representing the attorney general ensuring laws are upheld. The commissioner, with experience of human resources, ensuring talent factor is achieved.   
  6. The Chairperson would after every resolution arrived call a vote and the 10 members would record their votes. A 6 vote or more of the 10 members would carry the day. If a 5-5 vote occurs the chairperson would tie-break. At all other times the chairperson by the fact they do not represent a sector would vote with the majority. Thus a vote of 6 would be achieved or more.  
The Kenya Constitution should not be blamed or faulted. The Kenya constitution offices as created are not the problem. The problem is in not understanding the Kenya constitution, laws and upholding them.

If the Kenya constitution, laws were upheld the teacher's budget would have been about Kshs 204 billion. The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) would thereafter have set the salaries based on the scale negotiated between the management and the unionized teachers.
Kshs 174 billion (31%) pay from Kshs 568 billion is not the fair and sustainable pay for 280,000 (41%) Kenyans out of 680,000. This is what is the problem. The best option for the teachers and even their unions is to understand constitution 230 and have it effected based on 2017 going forward. The unions would be able to achieve about Kshs 30 billion from the next cycle as Kenyans set the terms of 2017 - 2022. The current terms will be difficult to adjust and could render the country as not a great investment place.
The private sector should support the approach based on the fact that if Kshs 30 billion collected from taxes was returning to the economy through the 280,000 teachers’ pay distributed across the country the private sector would create more jobs and Kenya GDP would grow at a higher rate.

The Diaspora are beneficiaries of a sustainable correction that happened through an economic collapse in U.S in 1929 that led to the great depression and loss of billions of wealth for an entire generation that took 15 years to correct should understand this better. The billions of shillings Diaspora have put into Kenya would be lost if the economy bursts just like when tires burst.
For now the solution is in the words stated by President Uhuru Kenyatta, "Let us remember that it is our future, and that of our children, that is at stake. I urge sobriety and sincerity on the part of all parties, as we handle this issue. And, frankly, it is wrong to hold our children hostage to wage demands. Even as we all seek a peaceful end to the dispute, we ask teachers to let our children return to school. I am also aware that at this moment, parents and children are anxious. But I want to reassure them that we have the institutions, the means, and the goodwill to end this dispute, and bring our children back to school. I urge the relevant constitutional bodies to discharge their duties expeditiously, and in the best interests of our children, and the nation of Kenya." 
  • email Email to a friend
  • print Print version
  • Plain text Plain text
No tags for this article
Rate this article