TSC, teachers hold talks over Sh25bn allowances

Wednesday February 6 2013

By BENJAMIN MUINDI [email protected]

Teachers will be paid Sh25 billion in allowances if a meeting between the Teachers Service Commission and their union on Wednesday reaches an agreement.

The TSC has invited the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) to discuss the awards and avert a strike the latter has called if the allowances are not paid.

The house, medical and commuter allowances, among others, were part of an agreement between Knut and the government that saw teachers end a three-week strike last year.

The teachers will be paid 50 per cent of their basic salary as house allowance, medical (20 per cent) and commuter (10 per cent).

Already, the government is implementing Sh13.5 billion pay increases to the teachers in three phases that will ultimately see their basic salaries aligned to those of other civil servants in the same pay grade.

The agenda at Wednesday’s meeting follows the repealing of the contentious legal notice Number 16 of 2003, which was tabled before a select committee of the 10th Parliament by former Mutito MP Kiema Kilonzo.

The committee was to determine the validity of the legal notice that sought to amend another legal notice of 1997 that awarded teachers the various allowances.

In the report tabled before the select committee by Mr Kilonzo on January 3, the House had urged the Education minister to degazette the TSC (Remuneration of Teachers Amendment order 2003) gazetted in the Kenya Gazette supplement Number 17 of February 21, 2003, as legal notice Number 16 of 2003.

This would set the stage for the award of the Sh25 billion allowances to the teachers.

A part of their return-to-work agreement said that both parties — the government and the union — will respect the ruling made by Parliament regarding the validity of the notices.

“The government should not invite unnecessary pressure from teachers by failing to implement the payment of house, medical and commuter allowances with effect from January 1, 2013, following the repeal of the contentious legal notice,” Knut chairman Wilson Sossion said.

Union officials will honour the invitation by the TSC to discuss the issue, he added.

TSC has already lifted a ban on hardship and special school allowances as a part of the agreement signed last year.