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Teachers get raw deal in new pay increment

 TSC CEO Nancy Macharia. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

Teachers have nothing to smile about in the new pay deal signed yesterday between their unions and the Teachers Service Commission.

They got a pay increment of between Sh785 and Sh5,141, which coincides with the implementation of the housing levy and new National Social Security Fund rates.

The deal was signed by the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut), Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) and the Kenya Union of Special Needs Education Teachers (Kusnet).

The agreement comes a week after Kuppet dismissed the offer as a raw deal, and described the employer as deceitful. The proposed increment signifies a 2.4 per cent to 9.5 per cent increase.

However, at the same time, teachers' payslips will be subjected to a 1.5 per cent slash for housing levy and Sh360 for NSSF.

Previously, teachers were exempted from NSSF deductions as they have a pension known as Public Service Superannuation Scheme.

The pay deal takes effect this month thus the rise will be reflected in their August salaries that is yet to be paid. TSC indicated that they will backdate the payment to July this year.

The deal means the little gain will instead settle the new statutory deductions.

Knut Secretary General Collins Oyuu, said the increment will be crucial in cushioning teachers against the deductions.

“The pay rise will be used to cushion teachers from the new deductions, inflation and high cost of living,” Oyuu said.

Teachers in five pay grades C4, C5, D4 and D5 will be the hardest hit as they fall under the minimum pay level and will not get any increment.

Also to be adversely affected are teachers in D1 who will only get Sh785 increment.

Under the new deal, teachers in pay Grade B5, will get a minimum pay rise of Sh2,074 from Sh21,756 to 23,830.

Those in job group C1 will get 29,787 from 27,195 signifying an increase of Sh2,592. Those in C2  will get an increase of Sh3,331 -- from Sh34,955 to Sh38,286.

Those in C3 will now earn a minimum wage of Sh45,671 from 43,154. Teachers in job groups C4 and C5 will get no rise as their salaries will remain at Sh52,308 and Sh62,272 respectively under the new pay deal.

D1 teachers will get Sh785 more from Sh77,840 to 78,625, D2 (Sh1,455 from 91,041 to 92,496) and D3 (Sh1,399 more from Sh104,644 to 106,043).

Those in D4 and D5 will not get any pay rise as their salaries remain Sh114,242 and 131,380 respectively.

Kuppet Secretary General Akello Misori said the union had a change of heart on their previous opposition to the pay deal as it would be vital to cushion teachers with the increase in inflation.

He further lauded the plan to improve housing allowance for teachers in rural areas.

However the unions, despite signing the pay deal, did not hesitate to register their reservations on how teacher promotions are carried out.

Kuppet blamed the career progression guidelines, noting they disadvantaged teachers in the lower cadres.

“Whatever has happened today is not the end of negotiations. We agreed to have a technical committee to address disputed issues,” Misori said.

The Kuppet boss said the issues will be deliberated by a technical committee composed of TSC and union representatives. The committee will also address compensation of teachers in acting capacity.

TSC CEO Nancy Macharia said that the commission had promoted some 14,738 while another 36,275 vacancies were open for promotion.

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