, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 26 – Labour Cabinet Secretary Kazungu Kambi has suspended the deduction of agency fees from salaries of teachers who are not members of relevant unions.
This comes after they noticed discrepancies in the number of non-member teachers presented by both the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) to the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).
The fees were to be deducted from non-union members and remitted as commission to cover the recent pay increase that was negotiated by the unions.
Kambi said the suspension will pave way for the TSC to verify the numbers presented by the unions because they did not tally with those from the TSC.
“I am ordering for the suspension of the deductions as we wait for the confirmation of the number of legitimate teachers as presented by the unions,” said Kambi.
Kambi said the deductions are means to encourage the teachers to join various unions and the verification will take the shortest time possible.
The unions demand that the non-members will have to pay a levy as they have been benefiting from their (union’s) hard work to improve the teacher’s salaries and working environments.
Teachers who do not belong to any union will have to part with four percent of their pay as a fine that will cover the teachers’ pay increase.
Those who register under the unions before October 31 2013 will be protected from this deduction.
KUPPET officials had also said they would go court over the fees to ensure that KNUT does not pocket all the revenue collected and that it is instead shared equally.
“The law gives the Labour Ministry 30 days to review any processes before they are implemented to ensure that each and every name presented is genuine,” added Kambi.
KNUT had been accused of having ghost members after it presented a membership of 278,000 teachers to the TSC this month, the same number given last year.
But KNUT Secretary General Mudzo Nzili refuted these claims saying that the numbers reported are genuine.
“We normally work fast to replace teachers as soon as they are out of our union and this is the reason we have maintained the number of teachers under our union,” said Nzili.
The teachers’ salaries and allowances were increased after their four week strike last month.
The teachers were demanding for allowances and a review of their salaries.