Senior counsel Paul Muite for Kenya National Union of Teachers submitting before the court of appeal three judge bench on Friday 17 July, 2015.
BY SAM ALFAN.
The hearing of the Teachers Service Commission application against the Court of Labour and Relations ruling which awarded teachers a 50-60 percent pay increase kicked off today before the Appellate court three judge bench.
The three bench comprising presiding judge, Justice Mohamed Warsame, Jamila Mohamed and Sankale Kantai is hearing the appeal challenging Justice Nduma Ndeli decision that will make teachers countrywide smell if the bench won’t reverse his decision made three weeks ago.
TSC wants the award to be frozen or stayed saying that the more than 37 billion shillings required to implement the judgment which was delivered three weeks ago is not available.
T he AG said the budget has already been passed and they don’t money to pay teachers as ordered by Justice Nduma Ndeli within 30 days.
They further argued that, if the court fails to stop the implementation of the Labour Court order that teachers be awarded a 50-60 percent salary increment with immediate effect, they may risk facing contempt of court.
Government denied sighing any agreement with teachers over salary increment as its alleged by the teachers.
TSC had made the application seeking the bench presiding judge justice Mohamed Warsame exclude himself from hearing the matter.
The bench ruled out the application saying it lacked merit since the justice was exercising his judicial powers as the judicial officer.
TSC lawyer who seemed agitated by the bench decision addressed the judge directly insisting he dismisses himself from the matter but the agitated justice Mohamed Warsame read his own ruling to the lawyer that was the same with bench decision.
Three weeks ago, the Labour Court has ordered that teachers be awarded a 50-60 percent salary increment with immediate effect.
Judge Nduma Nderi said the basic salary was below the Consumer Price Index and teacher’s allowances will first be harmonized to match other public servants.
“Teachers salaries are not at par with those of other civil servants in the country. They have been victimized by their employer, who says increasing salaries on their big number will affect the economy,” he said on Tuesday.
Nderi said salaries should be harmonized to address the difference between lower and higher job groups.
“This court reiterates that Teachers Service Commission is the employer and is mandated to review salaries and job evaluation. Of utmost importance is the children of Kenya and the teachers who teach them,” he said.
Nderi ruled that teachers will not have medical allowances; rather the TSC will pay premiums for members to insurance companies.
No disturbance allowance will be accorded for transfers within the same district either.
He called for TSC to work with other organs as mandated by the collective agreement with Kenya National Union of Teachers and Kuppet.
“TSC is obliged to consult with Salaries and Remuneration Commission before making decisions. This decision can only be implemented after Union bodies are consulted.”
The increment will be backdated to July 2013.
On Monday, Knut and Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers filed a joint petition to justify the payment of salaries, allowances and other benefits for their members.
The union demanded a 300 percent raise alongside other allowances which they wanted met before calling off a strike last week.
The Union scaled it down to 150 percent after holding meetings with stakeholders, but TSC said only Sh9.3 billion was available for the teacher’s allowances.