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MPs: Teachers don’t deserve pay hike

Teachers should not get a pay rise because they refused to sign performance contracts. Moreover, most of them skip work, MPs said on Thursday.

“In any case, where do we get the money to pay the teachers,” National Assembly budget committee chairman Mutava Musyimi said after their meeting in Nairobi.

Mr Musyimi warned of a ripple effect on the economy if the teachers are paid new salaries because other civil servants are likely to want a pay rise too.

Mr Musyimi did not indicate when the National Treasury would propose how the Sh17 billion in the four-year plan would be raised.

The Supreme Court directed the Teachers Service Commission to pay the increments awarded by a court after the commission lost a battle not to pay.

“Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich has assured us they are working on a proposal which will be brought to this committee,” is all Mr Musyimi said.

Members of the committee had been pushing Mr Musyimi to direct Treasury to speed up the proposal.

RAISING TAXES

“However, as soon as the proposal lands on my desk, even if the MPs will have gone on recess, everything else will stop for it to be acted upon. This is a matter of great importance to the country,” Mr Musyimi said.

On Tuesday, Treasury PS Kamau Thugge said it is difficult to raise the money since the 2015/16 budget has been prepared.

“The three options available to us, including raising taxes, developing a supplementary budget, meaning we take money for development and borrowing, have far reaching implications on the country,” Dr Thugge said.

On Thursday, Mr Musyimi went all out to show why teachers should not get the 50 to 60 per cent pay rise.

“The profession is riddled with absenteeism and teachers also declined to sign performance contracts. We should also ask ourselves whether it is the courts or the salaries commission that should be awarding pay rises and the effects such a move would have,” he said.

However, a case is still pending at the Court of Appeal, where teachers commission appealed.

Seme MP James Nyikal warned of anarchy if the teachers are not paid. “We should be concerned about the welfare of our children should teachers go on strike,” Dr Nyakal said.

Teachers on Wednesday gave their employer five days to increase their basic pay or else they would go on a nationwide strike.