Teachers have rejected salary review of state officers by the Salary and Remuneration Commission (SRC).
Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) Secretary General Kuppet Akelo Misori accused RSC of frustrating tutors pay rise and allowing the same fort state officers.
Misori faulted the commission for standing in the way of the review of teachers’ salaries for two years under the Third Public Sector Remuneration and Benefits Review Cycle in 2021.
‘‘The commission’s recommendation is not merely tone-deaf. SRC is a public relations tool by the country’s political and economic establishment to perpetuate the inequalities in our country by blocking the legitimate demands of low-income earners,’’ Misori said.
In the new proposed perks, top government officials poised to benefit from the pay rise include the President, the Deputy President, Cabinet Secretaries, Members of Parliament and County Assemblies, Judges and members of Constitutional Commissions.
The increments slated to occur in two phases starting July 1, 2023 will see the State officers get a cumulative salary increment of 14 per cent over a two-year period.
Misori, however, said that many issues remain unresolved, some touching on teachers welfare and creating enabling environment for work.
He said the delayed capitation, infrastructure needs, poor salary and equitable distribution of resources across schools have continued affecting teachers’ quest to deliver quality education to learners.
The union’s organs is now planning a meeting this month to find a pathway for teachers’ demands.
‘‘KUPPET rejects the increment of salaries for an already pampered cadre of state officers,’’ he said.
Misori said although Kenya’s education system still commands lead in the region, it continues to experience many hurdles in access, quality, equity and transition.
He accused the commission of insincerity saying the recommendations by the SRC to raise the civil servant pay, is a clear proof that teachers’ salaries can be reviewed.
‘‘KUPPET has received with utter disbelief the news that the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) is recommending an increase in the salaries and allowances of state officers at a time when ordinary Kenyans are suffering from skyrocketing inflation and low salaries,’’ Misori said.
Addressing the 46th Annual Conference of the Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (KESSHA) in Mombasa Misori challenged the government to provide optimal resources to schools to bridge the current funding crisis.
‘‘On the critical issue of capitation, Parliament allocates funds (meagre as they are) yet financial years roll over before the same is disbursed to schools,’’ Misori said.
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Misori said the government continues losing trust from the stakeholders by their regular unfulfilled promises with officials continuing burying their heads in the sand.
‘‘How can a whole Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu promise Parliament and KESSHA that he would release Sh28 billion, only to release Sh24 billion, and the same has not reached many schools even today?’’ he posed.
Misori further said, as the number of learners continues to grow, the government has failed to match the population with teachers in schools urging Education CS to visit the schools to experience the problems schools face in offering service to learners.
‘‘While our school populations have increased two-fold over the past fifteen years, teacher numbers have remained largely unaffected,’’ he added.
He noted that although the Teachers Service Commission recruited 36, 000 teachers this year, the new recruits mainly replace those exiting the service.
He further stated that teachers continue working under deplorable terms hinting that the union will be pushing for better packs for teachers.
He said contrary to the previous which came with a non-monetary CBA, which denied teachers proper housing and medical care.
‘‘The welfare of teachers, I wish to assure this conference that KUPPET will win a new salary package this year. We will embark on a new journey to negotiate for our pound of flesh,’’ he said.
Further an effective and efficient education system with timely and sufficient public investment, will foster proper curriculum implementation.
‘‘A well-trained and motivated teaching workforce is critical to the performance of the education system. To be effective, teachers must enjoy material comfort and work without fearing where their family’s next meals will come from,’’ Misori said.
Misori urged the government to invest in continuous professional development of teachers to help them enhance their teaching skills, knowledge and familiarity with the latest research and best practices.
He said regular professional development and realigning new teacher training curriculum will improve teaching methodologies and adaptation of new pedagogical approaches.