Salary of teachers: Thousands of teachers have protested unexplained pay deductions running into millions of shillings following implementation of the new pay deal.
The teachers say their payslips do not reflect the figures they are entitled to, based on the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that has been implemented in the last one year.
A principal said the discrepancy in his pay totaled Sh. 23,000 per month, which translated to Sh. 276,000, given implementation of the CBA began on July 1, last year.
The discrepancies that affect mostly senior teachers in management touch on basic salary, hardship, commuter and house allowances.
On October 25, 2016, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) signed the CBA with the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) and the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) for the period 2017–2021.
Implementation of the deal began on July 1, last year, and was to be effected in two and four phases for highest paid and lowest paid staff, respectively.
But after 12 months, some teachers are unhappy that they are yet to get the increased basic salary, hardship, leave and commuter allowances.
The most affected cadres are headteachers, their deputies, senior teachers, senior masters and principals and their deputies. Some say even their payslips do not reflect the new grading system.
A principal in Laikipia, who was in Job Group N (now Job Group D3), says he has only been receiving Sh. 17,100 hardship allowance out of the Sh. 34,000 he says he is entitled to as per the CBA.
“This is what I used to receive before the CBA was signed. I’m now wondering if someone is stealing our money or if the CBA was a hoax. Of the Sh. 10,000 leave allowance, I only get Sh. 6,000 and Sh. 8,000 instead of the Sh. 10,000 travelling allowance,” the teacher said.
He said he had lost Sh. 23,000 per month, totaling to Sh. 276,000 since July last year.
Another principal said he was supposed to be earning Sh. 25,000 hardship allowance but the payment had been Sh. 10,000 less.
“I have been receiving 15,000. I don’t know where the balance goes to. I have been in my job group for a decade, and I’m being paid what my juniors get,” he said.
A senior head teacher in Kakamega County in Job Group M, who earns a basic salary of Sh. 60,110, said he hasd been losing Sh. 13,000 in allowances every month.
“I’m entitled to Sh. 18,000 house allowance and Sh. 8,000 commuter allowance. But for the past one year, I have only received Sh. 10,000 and Sh. 5,000 as house and commuter allowances respectively,” said the senior head teacher.
A senior teacher in the same county, who gets a basic salary of Sh. 50,000, is entitled to Sh. 12,000 house allowance and Sh. 6,000 for commuter allowance.
“Based on the new CBA, my commuter allowance was to rise to Sh. 9,000. I received Sh. 9,000 only once at the end of July last year, but thereafter I have been receiving Sh. 6,000,” the teacher said.
Another teacher said she was yet to receive the Sh. 34,000 hardship allowance.
“I was transferred when I was a deputy principal to be a principal, Job Group N. I have never been given hardship allowance of Sh. 34,000. My salary slip still reads deputy principal,” she said.
Another teacher in Kericho County has been losing Sh. 18,000 in allowances.
“I have only been receiving Sh. 12,000 out of the Sh. 30,000 I’m to get in commuter and house allowances,” she said.
A principal of a high school in Nyanza said the problem might even be bigger, as there was no proper communication as to the contents of the CBA.
“Most of the teachers don’t know what they are supposed to be getting. There is no circular to tell them so. This might turn out to be a bigger scandal than it appears now. Thousands of teachers are victims,” he said.
Kuppet Secretary General Akello Misori confirmed that the union had received many complaints on the matter. “I can’t tell you the exact figure of the teachers affected, as I’m not in the office, but we have been receiving some complaints. We consequently forward them to TSC, but the commission has been slow to implement the changes,” Misori explained.
Zablon Awange, the Kuppet Kisumu branch chairman, said 600 teachers had been affected in the region.
Migori Kuppet chairman Kennedy Makasembo said 80 deputies and senior teachers were affected. Most of them, he said, had gone to county TSC offices but nothing was done. He said those who sought answers in Nairobi were referred back to the county.
Knut Secretary General Wilson Sossion confirmed that his members had complained about the discrepancies.
This report was first published by the Standard newspaper.