Teachers have made new radical pay demands to the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), citing high cost of living.
In an ambitious proposal seen by the Saturday Standard, teachers want their new salaries increased to reflect the rise in Consumer Purchase Index (CPI) and inflation rate.
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A document presented to the TSC yesterday by a teachers union argues that the cost of living has increased rapidly over the last two years, affecting teachers purchasing power of household goods and services.
“Transport cost has increased beyond the commuter allowance negotiated due to increase of fuel and general overall transport cost,” reads the document presented by the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet).
The details emerged after a consultative meeting between TSC and Kuppet. And now, the union demands that new salaries complete with allowances to go up to accommodate the new realities.
Back-of-the-envelope calculation by the Saturday Standard reveals that if the new demands are implemented, the lowest-paid teacher (Grade C2) who currently earns Sh27,327 will get an additional Sh63,255 on total allowances.
And the pay may even go higher if a proposed accommodation allowance for teachers assigned duties outside the work station gets paid the rates ranging from Sh6,000 to Sh10,000.
Kuppet largely represents teachers in secondary and tertiary institutions but if their pay demand is granted, all the 312,000 teachers will benefit.
The union wants all teachers to be paid leave allowance at the rate equivalent to their monthly salary. If granted, teachers under Grade C2 who currently take home a flat leave allowance of Sh6,000 will now earn between Sh27,000 to Sh43,694.
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Those under Grade C3 will also earn leave allowance ranging from Sh33,908 to Sh49,912. Teachers under Grade C4, according to Kuppet demands, will get a leave allowance of between Sh35,927 and Sh51,632. Further details show that teachers under grade C5 will now get a house allowance of between Sh40,849 and Sh51,931. The teachers currently earn a flat rate of Sh6,000.
And Grade D1 to D5 who currently get Sh10,000 leave allowance will now take home allowances ranging from Sh66,177 to S152,937.
In addition to these, the union wants all teachers in boarding schools to be paid risk allowance at a rate of 20 per cent of the basic salary. Union argues that the unending unrests in boarding schools qualify the institutions as risk-prone institutions.
Schools exposed to acts of terror will also be treated as risk areas and will be eligible to risk allowance. This means that if the new allowance is introduced, the lowest-paid teacher (Grade C2) will take home Sh5,465 with the highest-paid (Grade D5) taking home Sh30,587.
Kuppet also wants a new pay benefit called township allowance to be paid at the rate of the risk allowance. On commuter allowance, the union demands a 50 per cent increase on the current rate.
This means that the lowest-paid teacher (Grade C2) who currently takes home Sh5,000 will be paid Sh7,500, while the highest-paid (Grade D5) currently earning Sh16,000 will be paid Sh24,000.
What will however excite many teachers is the demand to fix teaching hours between 8am and 5pm with one hour lunch break for five days.
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“The Union proposes that any extra hours worked be compensated as an overtime as teachers in boarding sections are overworked and no monetary compensation is done,” Kuppet said. The overtime allowance schedule shows the lowest-paid teacher will be given Sh500 for extra hour worked. And for more than two hours, the teachers will earn Sh1,000. The highest-paid teachers will earn Sh1,300 per extra hour worked with Sh2,600 to be paid after every two hours worked.
If implemented, teachers will also reap big on house allowances. Grade C2 teachers currently earn Sh7,500 towards house allowance, but this would rise to Sh16,500. Teachers under D5 who currently get Sh20,000 would be paid Sh50,000 as house allowance.
Kuppet also demands that hardship allowance payable to teachers assigned duties in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) areas be reviewed to cater for emerging issues like terrorism and cattle rustling.