The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has reviewed allowances payable to teachers and backdated to July 1, 2015 even as teachers’ strike continues. The teachers’ employer, in a circular dated September 24, says the new rates and allowances were arrived at with the help of Salaries and Remuneration Commission.
“TSC, in consultation with the SRC, has reviewed house allowance and hardship allowances payable to teachers. It has also introduced leave allowance payable to teachers once annually. The changes outlined in this circular will be implemented with effect from July 1, 2015,” the notice reads.
This will be seen as a way to appease individual teachers and dessuade them from continuing with the strike lead by their unions – KNUT and KUPPET. The three-phase house allowance see lowest paid teachers get between Kshs 3,200 and Ksh6,750 depending on where they are stationed.
Highest paid teachers are set to get house allowance of between Ksh 20,000 and Ksh 50,000 when the review is completed in July 2017, reports Tuko.co.ke. Teachers will also get hardship allowance paid at a flat rate of between KShs 5,700 and KShs 38,100 effective from July 2015. Teachers Service Commission further introduced leave allowance ranging from KShs 4,000 to KShs 10,000 to be paid at the beginning of every year alongside the January salary.
Teachers unions have however been pushing for an increase in basic salary which was last adjusted in 2009. They presented their case before an industrial court that government budgeted for an automatic 4% increase on basic salary to cushion civil servants against inflation but it was not automatically paid to the teachers for the period 1997 to 2013.
Employment and Labour Relation Court Principal Judge Nduma Nderi awarded teachers a 50-60% increment on basic salary in June but the government appealed against this ruling terming it unsustainable and went to the Court of Appeal.
Teachers went on strike on September 1 to push the government to implement the court ordered award. On, September 25, Judge Nelson Abuodha of the employment and Labour relations Court directed that the strike be suspended for 90 days to allow for dialogue. Teachers are however yet to call off the four-week strike.