NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 30 – Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi says the Education Ministry will appeal Tuesday’s ruling by the Employment and Labour Relations Court awarding teachers a 50 to 60 percent pay rise.
Speaking after meeting the National Assembly Committee on Education, Prof Kaimenyi said the ministry was reviewing the judgment and will move to court to seek more time to comply with the decision when it has adequate funds.
“If we feel dissatisfied as a government we can also seek recourse in the court of law. We have a right to appeal whether as an individual or institution. We can do that and there is no crime in that,” he said.
He asked the teachers to be patient, saying the government would consider increasing their pay in future.
“We are looking at the economic situation and we will be asking if we will be able to pay. It’s possible that a fraction of the funds are available and it could also be that it is the funds are not available,” the Education CS said while responding to questions from journalists.
“We cannot be forced to pay money that we don’t have.”
National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich in February said that salary increments demanded by teachers together with an offer of Sh9.3 billion in allowances from his Labour counterpart Kazungu Kambi was not factored in the current budget.
TSC had stated that the money was to cater for housing, commuting, hardship and leave allowances under the offer. Other allowances proposed by TSC were special schools and units allowances which were to be pegged on a flat rate of Sh10,000 while the current rates ranges from Sh1,669 to Sh10,908.
SRC chairperson Sarah Serem had also stated that a comprehensive job evaluation would determine the true pay for teachers and asked the court to quash teachers’ demands.
A stalemate ensued and the court assumed arbitration role after the TSC and the two teachers unions failed to agree.
The matter got more complicated after the Labour Ministry’s Central Planning and Monitoring Unit (CPMU) filed a document asking the court to consider awarding teachers a 128 percent salary raise, translating to Sh137 billion annually.
Suspended Labour Cabinet Secretary Kazungu Kambi told the court CPMU did not consult his office before filing the document, and requested that it be expunged from court records, but Justice Nderi declined.