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TSC told to pay teachers September salary as President Uhuru Kenyatta directed

By Kamau Muthoni | November 21st 2015

KENYA: The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has no option but pay teachers their September salaries.

The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) and the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) brokered a deal with President Uhuru Kenyatta and he ordered they should be paid.

And yesterday, the court directed the TSC to release the money.

The commission had asked the Labour Court to suspend the orders for September pay as it had already moved to the Court of Appeal to challenge the same.

TSC, in its application, argued that its employees did not deserve any pay for work not done.

Through its lawyer Kiragu Kimani, TSC told the court that its appeal had a high chance of sailing through and it would be difficult to deduct the monies if the second highest court agreed that TSC was justified to punish teachers for the strike.

But Justice Nelson Abuodha dismissed the application, exposing TSC to contempt of court proceedings if the monies will not have been paid up.

“The contention that the petitioner (TSC) is not obliged to pay the respondents’ (Knut and Kuppet) does not present an arguable point with a high chance of success on appeal. I may not have been perfect in my analysis and appreciation of the law but an appeal based on the ground does not therefore strike as an arguable point,” Justice Abuodha ruled yesterday.

On September 25, Justice Abuodha directed teachers to resume duty immediately for the sake of school children. Abuodha also ruled that the work boycott was within the law.

But in its appeal, TSC claimed the judge erred in law by reviewing an earlier decision by Justice Monicah Mbaru, who ruled that the strike was not protected by law. It is by Justice Mburu’s ruling that TSC was entitled not to pay teachers for the time they were on strike, but lifting the order exposed it to another challenge of having to avail the monies it had withheld from its disgruntled employees.

“The judge erred in law and in decree by declining to declare the strike unprotected in the circumstances of the dispute before him,” the application filed by the commission read in part. It continued:

“He erred in directing the appellant to pay the respondent’s members full salaries for the period they participated in the strike.”


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