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Court orders teachers back to work as TSC withholds September salaries

The Employment and labour court has declined a request to stop enforcement of last Friday’s ruling that ordered  teachers to work immediately.

The judge on Thursday directed teachers’ union officials to comply by suspending the ongoing strike.

And it a new twist to the ongoing strike, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has released a payroll which shows that over 245,000 teachers will miss their September salaries.

From the payroll, only 42,973 teachers – mostly principals, their deputies and heads of department who were in schools for the duration of the strike that started a month ago – will paid their salaries.

According to sources in the Teachers Service Commission, about 26,000 teachers in secondary schools have been paid as have 9,000 primary school headteachers.

All teachers in technical institutes, teacher training colleges and special institutions have also been fully paid.

“The teachers would have been on the payroll after the Friday ruling when they were directed to report to duty, but they did not,” said the source who could not be named as he is not authorised to speak to the media.

In some national schools like Alliance High and Kenya High, all teachers have been paid because they were on duty until Education Cabinet Secretary Prof Jacob Kaimenyi closed schools officially.

According to the TSC code of conduct “in the event of strike, the administrative staff of schools should be in school to ensure safety of learners and school property. These include head teachers, their deputies and registrar.”

On Thursday, there were speculations on social media that some teachers were paid and others left out.

STRIKING TEACHERS

“It is true the payroll was run. As you are aware payroll information involves employees’ salaries which cannot be discussed in the media,” TSC head of communication, Mr Kihumba Kamotho, said.

Ordinarily, the commission completes the payroll on the 23rd day of every month so teachers can receive their salaries by the 30th day.

Last month, it delayed running the payroll as it had been asked by Labour Court Judge Nelson Abuodha not to victimise the teachers for striking.

Some teachers who had checked their payslips online told the Daily Nation that they were reading nil.

Teachers in public schools have been on strike since September 2, a day after schools opened for the third term. They refused to go back to work even after Prof Kaimenyi officially reopened schools on September 28. They said they would only return after mediation.

The strike has affected the administration of national examinations, especially KCSE, which started this week.

Form Four candidates have been in schools studying for their examinations but all other secondary students remain at home.

On Thursday, TSC advertised vacancies for 70,000 relief teachers. The commission said it intended to recruit 50,000 primary and 20,000 secondary school teachers on a three-month contract.

Additional reporting by Ouma Wanzala