Capital FM (Nairobi)

Kenya: Salaries Commission Sets New Pay Grades

Nairobi, Kenya — The Salaries and Remuneration Commission on Sunday invited the public to make submissions to the Draft State Officers Remuneration Structure.

The draft structure has eight levels where the President as the head of state and government and Commander-in-Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces is on Level 1, the Speakers of the National Assembly and Senate, the Deputy President and Chief Justice occupy Level 2.

In ranking the two Speakers at the same level the salaries commission base their explanation on the Article 106 and 107.

Although their roles are different they are of equal weight in terms of responsibilities. For example, in the case of a vacancy in the office of the President, and the office of the Deputy President or the Deputy President is unable to assume the office, the Speaker of the National Assembly shall act as the president and an election shall be held with 60 days after the vacancy arose in the office of the President.

On the other hand, Speaker of the Senate presides over senate during the impeachment of the President.

The leaders of the Majority and Minority, Deputy Speakers of National Assembly and Senate, the Attorney General, Deputy CJ and Chief of the Kenya Defence Force will be classified under Level 3 if the proposal is adopted.

The leader of majority shall be person who is the leader in the National Assembly of the largest party or coalition of parties while the Leader of Minority is the Leader of the National Assembly of the second largest party or coalition of parties.

"Any of these leaders could be Leader of Government Business depending on the party of the President. The Constitution at Article 108 sets out the order of precedence for the Speaker of the National Assembly, Leaders of Majority and Minority."

"The AG placing is influenced by qualification and experience for his appointment which is similar to that of the CJ. Article 156 of the Constitution states that the holder shall sit in the Cabinet and is the legal advisor" reads the statement from the commission.

In Level 4 will include the Clerks of the National Assembly and Senate, Central Bank of Kenya Governor, Auditor General, Supreme Court Judges, Chairpersons of Constitutional Offices, Service Commanders of the Kenya Defence Forces, and the Inspector General of the National Police Service.

Members of Parliament and Senate, Judges of Court of Appeal, Members of Constitutional Commissions, County Governors, Deputy Inspector General of the National Police Service will fall under Level 5, while Principal Secretary, Secretary to Constitutional Commissions, Judges of the High Court, County Assembly Speaker and Deputy Governor fall under Level 6.

The structure which was arrived at after consultations with constitutional experts, economist and seasoned administrators and stakeholders in the Judiciary, Legislature and Executive will be subject to a job evaluation for purposes of setting and reviewing remuneration.

Members of County Assembly and Members of the County Executive, Judicial Officers of Subordinate Courts, and Registrars of Courts will make up Level 7 and lastly Level 8 will comprise Deputy Speaker County Assembly; and Judicial officers of subordinate courts such as Magistrates.

The Commission which is mandated under the Constitution to set and regularly review the remuneration and benefits of all state officers says the comments and memorandum should be addressed to commission secretary via post or drop it at its offices on NHIF Building 13th Floor.

The streamlining of public service salaries is meant to avoid an altercation that was experienced last year when the Government declared it will not pay what it described as "exorbitant" salaries demanded by Commission for Implementation of the Constitution.

Government Spokesman Alfred Mutua explained that the Commission had demanded Sh1.3 million monthly salary for Chairman Charles Nyachae, Sh1.17 million for the vice chairperson while the other seven commissioners would receive Sh1.14 million each per month.

Mutua said then Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura directed the Public Service Commission and the Treasury to review the proposed salaries downward to more sustainable levels that are a reflection of the economy and reality.

The Salaries commission in March published remuneration guidelines where government employees will now be entitled to more transparent salary reviews.

This follows the publication of the 2012 salaries and remuneration commission regulations, which spells out how and when, State officers will be paid. This comes as a relief after years of lobbying from Government employees who had in the past lacked proper salary review schemes.

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