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Joy for teachers as State to pay Sh5b commuter allowances end month

By Augustine Oduor | Updated Wed, July 23rd 2014 at 00:00 GMT +3
A teacher explains a point to students at Kisumu Boys High School. The Government will pay teachers the final tranche
of the Sh11.8 billion negotiated for commuter allowances end of this month. [PHOTO: FILE/STANDARD]

Teachers will enjoy a boom next week when the Government pays out the second and final tranche of their commuter allowances totalling Sh5.9 billion. The payout will complete the Sh11.8 billion negotiated perks that were spread out in two phases, with the first instalment of Sh5.9 billion paid out in July last year.

A circular by Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Secretary Gabriel Lengoiboni seen by The Standard says all teachers will get their pay at the end of this month. "Pursuant to work agreement between the Government ... and the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) of July 5, 2013 and Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) of July 18, 2013 respectively, the final phase to harmonise commuter allowance is due for implementation with effect from July 1, 2014," reads the circular dated July 16, 2014.

"We shall be paying teachers their allowances at the end of the month," Lengoiboni said yesterday.

The Government and teachers last year reached a Sh16 billion deal, which included a Sh4.2 billion responsibility allowance to end a 23-day nationwide strike that paralysed learning in public schools.

Lengoiboni says in the document that commuter allowance payable to teachers will be harmonised with that of civil servants as contained in Government circular of June 27, 2011.

The increments range between Sh1,500 for the lowest bracket in job group G to Sh6,000 for the highest paid teacher in job group R.

According to the latest circular by Lengoiboni, teachers in job group G earning Sh2,501 will pocket Sh4,000 at the end of the month.

This category of teachers earned Sh1,001 before the strike.

The highest paid teacher in job group R whose current rate is Sh10, 205 will now take home Sh16,000. They were earning Sh4,410 in 2013 before the new deal.

Those in job group H earning Sh2,591 will pocket Sh4,000. They earned Sh1,181 in 2013.

The next category of job group J who take home Sh3,321 will earn Sh4,000, up from Sh1,642 before the negotiated deal.

Teachers in job group K who currently earn Sh3,455 will take home Sh5,000 in harmonised allowances. They were receiving Sh1,909 before the increment.

Those in job group L earning Sh4,129 will now pocket Sh6,000, up from Sh2,588.

The circular also says all teachers in job group M taking home Sh5,344 will now earn Sh8,000. This category of teachers took home Sh2,688 in 2013.

Teachers in job group N earning Sh5,521 will get Sh8,000 at the end of the month, increased from Sh3,042 in 2013.

Those in job group P taking home Sh7,725 will get Sh12,000 from Sh3,450, while those in job group Q at Sh8,955 will take home Sh14,000. They earned Sh3,910 before the teachers' strike.

"All other allowances shall remain as per circular of August 2013," reads the document.

The document is copied to Education Cabinet Secretary Prof Jacob Kaimenyi and his Principal Secretary Dr Bellio Kipsang.

Others are Labour CS Kazungu Kambi, Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo, Salaries and Remuneration Commission Chairperson Sarah Serem and the two teachers' unions.

The circular is copied to all TSC county directors, principals of national polytechnics, technical training institutes, diploma teachers' colleges and the Institute of Science and Technology.

Also copied are primary teachers training colleges and the directors of the Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa, and the Kenya Institute of Special Education.

The agreement signed by Knut also indicates the union agreed to a 100 per cent increment of the responsibility allowance with effect from July 1 for teachers in job group K and below.

These include head teachers, their deputies and senior teachers. That for teachers in job group L and above shall be subject to negotiations in subsequent agreements.

Knut agreed that teachers deployed to and teaching in special schools and units shall with effect from July 1, 2013 be paid a special school allowance at a flat rate of Sh10,000 per month.

The agreement says TSC shall have the sole responsibility to determine and designate a special school and unit for this allowance as per its policy.

All visually impaired teachers will get an all-inclusive readers allowance of Sh15,000, starting this month.