, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 3 – Teachers are aware their salaries are being reviewed alongside those of other public servants and should not be on strike, the Salaries and Remuneration Commission says.
The commission’s chairperson Sarah Serem told Capital FM News on Monday that the teachers’ unions and their employer were issued with guidelines to govern the review in July this year, but they had not complied as required.
“The current strike is a short-change of the systems that have been established under the new Constitution. Teachers ought to go through the guidelines that we have provided,” she said.
She said the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) was expected to respond to key points to guide the salary review. The teachers’ employer is supposed to inform the salaries commission on the components of remuneration, social, economic and environmental issues, and results of job evaluation and key elements of pay consideration.
They also have to state collective bargaining agreements, affordability and sustainability of compensation, the job market and available budgetary provisions.
Other guidelines include stating their competitiveness and impact on the desired salary package.
Serem pointed out that teachers, lecturers and doctors who get salaries from the public exchequer should give the commission time to address existing salary concerns as they have all already been notified.
She regretted that the teachers violated or failed to appreciate the government’s platform in which they can use to vent their concerns over salaries and discredited them for choosing to strike.
Serem disclosed that the commission was set up to especially address the current and rampant strikes that not only hurt the economy but disrupt lives and continuity of learning across the country.
She called for sobriety and patience making it clear that long term solutions were key to developing sustainable salaries and remuneration for State officers.
The commission is mandated to set and regularly review the remuneration and benefits of all State officers and advise the national and county governments on the remuneration and benefits of all other public officers. Under the Constitution, teachers, lecturers, nurses and doctors are also State officers.
The three groups have been on strike on many occasions with common complaints of poor salaries.
The commission is expected to harmonise salaries of all public officers to match with their work and professionalism among other considerations.
There has been an outcry especially among the teachers that there are huge and incomparable disparities in comparison to other public officers.