On the 26th November, 2019 the National Wage Bill Conference kicked off at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre. The conference theme was “Transforming Kenya’s Economy through a Fiscally Sustainable Public Wage Bill’’. Technical papers on various thematic areas were presented and discussed by experts on the first two days, which informed outcomes and resolutions presented on the third day.
The conference was opened by the Ag Cabinet Secretary of National Treasury and Planning, Ukur Yatani. “Cut your coat according to your cloth, and let’s all live within our means to have fiscally sustainable wage bill,” he noted. He observed that having effective public sector wage bill management strategies will help Kenya achieve a revenue target of not more than 35%, so as to get resources for development and continuous expansion of government services.
The Chairperson of Council of Governors, Hon. Wycliffe Oparanya, committed to work with stakeholders to enable SRC achieve its mandate. Moreover, he stated that there is need to view and amend the existing labour laws to go hand in hand with the changing economic times.
Mrs. Lyn Mengich, Chairperson SRC, observed that “Effort by the government is required to achieve a public sector wage bill of not more than 35% of the revenue.” She urged the actors and the Government to support the Commission in managing the public sector wage bill.
“Unless the current wage bill propels are improved, government’s planned transformative agenda is endangered,” stated Hon. Dalmas Otieno, Vice Chairperson SRC during his presentation. He noted that the conference outcomes will only be useful to Kenya, if the resolutions are put to action.
Being among the key partners, the World Bank’s Public Sector Consultant, Kithinji Kiragu, observed “Politics complicate policy making and implementation.” He urged the country to deliberate on transforming economy through a fiscally sustainable wage bill.
The conference brought together key stakeholders from the National and County governments, private sector, civil society and other non-state actors. Local and International speakers also shared their experiences on wage bill management. The conference themes were:
Mainstreaming productivity in the public service;
Mainstreaming performance management in the public service;
Strengthening labour relations for National Wage bill sustainability;
Managing the wage bill through an optimal and efficient public service;
Mainstreaming work ethics to achieve productivity in the public service;
Managing public sector pension liability; and
Strengthening the Remuneration and Benefits policy for a fiscally sustainable wage bill.