Presidential advisor urges patience from teachers

January 9, 2015 11:43 am
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Mwiria told capital FM News in an interview that the tutors should go back to class and allow the government to address their grievances rather than resort to strikes/FILE
Mwiria told capital FM News in an interview that the tutors should go back to class and allow the government to address their grievances rather than resort to strikes/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 9 – President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Senior Advisor on Education Kilemi Mwiria has urged teachers to be patient as they await the job evaluation by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) in August, before their salaries are reviewed.

Mwiria told capital FM News in an interview that the tutors should go back to class and allow the government to address their grievances rather than resort to strikes.

He indicated that this is the only way for the government to deal with the pay structure of all civil servants.

“The government has not refused to increase the basic pay of other civil servants. It is just that since the formation of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission, the government left these matters to an independent body that would review salaries for all of us and that review is going to be completed in eight months. Teachers are not the only ones waiting and I think that is good for the country,” he said.

He further urged teachers to have confidence in the government as their demands were being tackled.

“We do not want a situation where the nurses go on strike, the teachers go on strike and other civil servants go on strike for pay. I think it is important to have one body which can harmonise all that so that we do not have different groups coming out to the government at different times of the year feeling that they should go on strike. It is better that we have one body and if we can harmonise and everyone is treated equally, that will be better,” he stated.

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He explained that the gains made should not be downplayed but should be seen as an indication of the government’s commitment to look after their needs.

“I can tell you that we are there in terms of allowances, housing, medical, that is exactly the same for all. The only difference is the issue of the basic pay and it does not only apply to teachers. I think that needs to be made clear unless teachers want to be treated in a special way,” he said.

“I am suggesting that they have no reason to be on strike, although we care about what teachers have done for this country including moulding us, we need to take a step back and end the strike that has paralysed learning in schools. Teachers contribute tremendously to the development of this country. The best way for that to continue is there for not to be a confrontation between the teachers and government.”

He emphasised that the tutors had not reason to go on strike and urged them to be reasonable in their demands.

“When this happens, the parents suffer, the students suffer and basically everyone involved are affected. So all this needs to end. The teachers have no basis for a strike. They have all these allowances which they befit from and they need to consider all this,” he said.

“To be very honest, things are much better than they are portrayed. I think that there is also a level of greed by the Union members that we need to confront. They need to come out clearly and explain to their members what the situation on the ground is.”

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