William Ruto calls for patience over teachers’ pay

Friday August 28 2015

Deputy President William Ruto (left) with Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and Enviroment Cabinet Secretary Judie Wakhungu at the Laico Regency Hotel in Nairobi during a forum on data on August 28, 2015. PHOTO | DPPS

Deputy President William Ruto (left) with Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and Enviroment Cabinet Secretary Judie Wakhungu at the Laico Regency Hotel in Nairobi during a forum on data on August 28, 2015. PHOTO | DPPS 

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Deputy President William Ruto on Friday appealed to the teachers to be patient as a way is sought to raise Sh17 billion needed to finance the pay rise.

He said the National Assembly and their employer, the Teachers Service Commission are busy on the issue.

The Deputy President said the TSC and Parliament have to exercise their roles because the budget had already been passed.

However, Mr Ruto said the pay rise will be addressed alongside the implication it could create to the larger public service.

Mr Ruto said it would be a delicate balancing process to implement the pay rise, as it will involve reviewing the budget afresh to determine which sectors will be slashed to meet the additional salaries.

“There will be a process before we reach there. The institutions have to build consensus to determine how to implement the court ruling,” he said. “Let teachers give opportunity to various institutions that are handling this matter exercise their mandate.”


Mr Ruto said the government had engaged teachers since 2013 and addressed most of their requirements including increasing allowances.

The Deputy President said TSC has to consult Parliament following the Court of Appeal ruling that awarded the pay rise.

“We have to wait for a clear assessment to be done before any discussion. This takes sometime which is why we are asking for patience,” Mr Ruto said.

The Deputy President also said the ministries of Education and National Treasury had been asked to address the matter.

“We ask teachers to be patient as this matter is addressed. The TSC has to consult widely with other organs of government,” he said.

“TSC has to obey the law. There is a process of how to get funds. It is Parliament that appropriates funds to the Executive, Legislature, Judiciary and County Governments,” added the Deputy President.


But the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) and Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) remained adamant that the 50 and 60 per cent pay rise ordered by the courts should be effected by midnight on Monday or there will be no teaching in public schools.

“The government had an opportunity to negotiate with the teachers but they opted to go to court, so they should respect the court’s decision,” Knut Secretary-General Wilson Sossion said.

Any work boycott by the teachers will seriously affect students as third term is the national examination period.

Mr Sossion said their members will go on strike if by the midnight of Monday, August 31, the government would not have effected the pay rise with the accruing arrears.

“We cannot negotiate court rulings and if the government is not ready to pay teachers as directed by the court, then, it should expect a strike,” he said.

He added the strike will start on Tuesday, just a day after the schools re-open.

“We are also urging parents to keep their children at home instead of wasting money sending them to schools, which will be deserted by teachers,” he noted.

Mr Sossion at the same time said an application that TSC had made to the court will be invalid by August 31 midnight and that this will give the union a window to deal with the concerned parties in court for contempt as individuals.

“We had a meeting with TSC and other relevant parties on Wednesday and the commission said that it had written a letter to the Treasury on the teachers’ pay. We told them that we are not ready for any further negotiations but to strike,” he said.

Kuppet Secretary-General Akello Misori said: ‘‘We are open for talks but only those that will bring us money, any other talks are irrelevant.’’

Their members, he added, were ready to down their tools if they are not paid by tonight.

“If by midnight the salaries will not be in the teachers’ bank accounts, the strike will be on, this one does not need us even to give a notice,” he said.

Reports by Maryanne Gicobi, Geoffrey Rono and DPPS.