Thousands of retired teachers who have been waiting for a Ksh42.3 billion salary and pension arrears award for 17 years got a relief yesterday after the High Court ordered the Teachers Service Commission to release the money immediately. The award will turn most of the beneficiaries into instant millionaires.
Lady Justice Janet Mulwa directed TSC to liaise with Treasury, Controller of Budget, Auditor-General, director of pensions and other relevant offices to settle the debt. Affirmation of the pay arrears complicates the situation for the Treasury, which is also faced with another budget hole following award of a hefty pay increase for teachers earlier this month.
“There is no escaping paying these teachers who delivered their services to the government for several years,” said Justice Mulwa, adding that the respondents’ employment benefits have been trampled upon by the relevant government bodies since October 2008.
The judge accused the commission of ‘feet-dragging’ in the matter despite a 2006 High Court judgement that ruled in favour of the retirees. Justice Mulwa’s orders have left the TSC with a Ksh56.3 billion budget hole following a court of Appeal order last week compelling it to increase teachers’ pay by 50 to 60% starting August 1.
The Appellate Court told the TSC to increase teachers’ pay until its appeal against Industrial Court judge Nduma Nderi’s judgment that awarded the tutors the rise is heard and determined. Justice Nderi’s award was based on working documents that the teachers’ employer had prepared on September 9, 2014 as the tutors prepared for a strike.
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