NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 23 – Teachers have every reason to smile this month after the Court of Appeal ordered the Teachers Service Commission to pay them the salary increase awarded to them last month by the Employment and Labour Relations Court.
TSC has declined to honour the 50-60 percent pay increase awarded to teachers by the High Court and instead appealed the decision.
The three judge bench, led by Justice Mohamed Warsame has since ordered that the commission to pay the teachers, effective next month, failure to which the appeal will be dismissed with costs.
“We observe that the implementation of the judgment is due next week. We hereby issue a conditional stay of execution of judgment of the orders on the following terms. The applicant and interested parties shall implement the orders by the judge in respect basic salary only with immediate effect, from August 1st,” ruled the appellate judges.
The commission will however not be required to pay teachers the salary arrears dating back to 2013 amounting to Sh37 billion.
“We issue a stay of payment of the arrears and allowances until the hearing and determination of the case. We have given you a conditional stay and if you do not comply, the application stands dismissed,” the three judges ruled.
Judges Warsame, Jamilla Mohamed and Sankale ole Kantai went on to state that, “The applicant shall continue to pay the increment of the above until the hearing and final determination of the appeal.”
TSC has however argued that it was not party to any consent on the issue, as they did not sign any agreement.
With the salaries due in just a week, the lowest earner, that is a p1 teacher will be receiving a Sh4,612 increment from Sh16,692 to Sh21,304 while the highest paid teacher under job group R will be receiving a Sh35,389 increment from Sh109,089 to Sh144,928.
The three judge bench took less than an hour to reach a verdict on the matter which has been ongoing since Wednesday.
Following the ruling by High Court Judge Nduma Nderi which gave teachers the 50-60 percent increase TSC, the Salaries and Remuneration Commission and the Attorney General moved court to challenge the decision saying the proposed increment had not been factored in the budget and the National Treasury did not have the extra monies to pay the teachers.
This angered the Kenyan National Union of Teachers which questioned why the government did not budget for the expected increments yet they were cognizant of the court case and accused the government of insincerity.
“In the first place, they were the ones who moved to court thinking that things would go their way. In all fairness, their action is what can be termed as amounting to an attempt to arm-twist the Judiciary to further their agenda by denying teachers their dues,” said KNUT Chairman Mudzo Nzili after TSC appealed the ruling.
Lawyers Paul Muite, John Mbaluto and Judy Guserwa representing teachers’ unions accused the government particularly the Salaries and Remuneration Commission of failing to consider the plight of teachers saying they have constantly shelved their calls for increments despite other sectors having been given more.
The appellate judges questioned why the salaries of teachers have remained constant yet Members of the County Assemblies, Senators and other MPs had received increases.