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Teachers stand to receive huge salary hike

The highest paid teacher will take home over Sh700,000 per month if salary proposals submitted to the court by teachers unions are assented to.

According to a joint memorandum filed last week at Milimani Law Courts by Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet), teachers in Job group R who have taught for five years and above should be paid a basic salary of Sh321,705 and allowances totaling to Sh402,045.

Those who serve in hardship areas will be entitled to an additional Sh112,596.

Currently, the same teachers are paid a maximum of Sh120,270 in basic salaries.

The unions are also demanding a disturbance allowance equivalent to one month’s pay every time a teacher is transferred even if the transfer is within the county, and an annual leave allowance also equivalent to a month’s salary.

Other allowances whose amounts are not specified in the document include monies to pay for mileage claims and advance for motor vehicle purchases.

Notably, the unions have asked that the salaries be backdated to 1st July 2013 to adhere to a circular issued by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission in 2012 stating that all Collective Bargaining Agreements should be concluded by 1st July 2013 and run for a 4 year period up to 30th June 2017.

The 4 year CBA cycle is meant to ensure a sustained period of industrial peace, as opposed to the yearly agitations by unions for better terms and conditions of service.

BACKDATED

“It is on this basis that the unions humbly submit that the any awards given by this court be backdated so as to take effect from 1st July 2013 so that teachers may enjoy the full term of the current 4 year CBA cycle. To determine otherwise would amount to a grave injustice and would allow TSC to get away with its delaying tactics to the detriment of teachers,” stated Knut and Kuppet in the memorandum.

Another notable demand is the creation of two additional job groups S and T to allow for “sufficient career progress”.

It is proposed that job Group Q and R will be restructured to Senior Principal II and Senior Principal I respectively to make way for Chief Principal II and Chief Principal I for job groups S and T respectively.

The teachers have also asked that the Salary Remuneration Committee dissociates itself from the operations of the Teachers Service Commission stating that, “Article 249 of the Constitution grants TSC autonomy and independence by stating that the Commission shall be subject only to the constitution and shall not be subject to direction or control by any person or authority.”

The SRC has repeatedly termed the teachers’ demands as untenable and impractical in light of the current economic realities in the country.

TSC is supposed to file its memorandum in the same court by January 26 followed by the Central Planning Monitoring Unit and the SRC which should file theirs by February 9.

The memoranda are supposed to culminate in the construction of a workable formula mediated by the court that will be acceptable to all parties.