Lecturers, tutors and teachers dominate the list of formal employees who earn above Sh100,000 per month, official statistics show, reflecting their negotiating power.
Workers in the education sector who earned in this pay bracket increased by 805 to 17,001 in 2017 compared to a year earlier, data released by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) on Wednesday indicate.
That is an equivalent of 22.13 percent of the 76,804 formal employees who were paid in the upwards of Sh100,000 in 2017.
Overall, only 2.89 percent of the country’s 2,656,553 workforce in formal employment were in that pay category.
Employees in the education sector made up a third of the additional 2,511 workers who joined the Sh100,000 or more monthly pay club in 2017.
Teachers and lecturers have a strong negotiating power for a pay increment, through the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with their employers.
Teachers, through their union, signed a CBA on October 20, 2016 with the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), giving them a cumulative pay rise of Sh54 billion to be implemented in four years from July 2017.
The KNBS says in the Statistical Abstract 2018 the income include basic salary, cost of living allowances, profit bonus, together with the value of rations and free board, and an estimate of the employer's contribution towards housing.
“Earnings as shown in this section are lower than the estimate of factor income going to employees because they exclude pensions, employers’ contributions to the National Social Security Fund or private provident funds and personal emoluments for the armed forces,” the statistics office says.
“Earnings in informal sector, rural small scale agriculture and pastoralists activities are excluded.”
The KNBS data is collected at the end of each financial year ending June largely through enumeration of employees and self-employed persons.
The number of workers in financial services pocketing more than Sh100,000 nonetheless fell by 147 to 11,459 last year compared with 2016.
A similar trend was witnessed in agriculture where top-earning employees dropped by a further 40 to 2,892. This means agricultural workers in this category have nearly halved compared to 5,433 in 2015 amid rising mechanisation and digitalisation of farm operations.
The number of employees in the wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles whose pay was within this pay category rose by 244 to 10,504 workers.
Construction and manufacturing were also among key economic sectors which witnessed a rise of 142 and 51 to 4,840 and 6,034 employees, respectively.