Appeal Court due to decide teachers pay rise dispute

November 6, 2015 7:10 am
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The Teachers Service Commission moved to the court to challenge the award. Backed by the Attorney General, they argue that Justice Nduma Nderi acted in excess of his powers when ordered the pay rise/FILE
The Teachers Service Commission moved to the court to challenge the award. Backed by the Attorney General, they argue that Justice Nduma Nderi acted in excess of his powers when ordered the pay rise/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 6 – The Court of Appeal will on Friday deliver its verdict on whether the Employment and Labour Relations court erred on awarding public school teachers a 50 to 60 percent pay rise.

The Teachers Service Commission moved to the court to challenge the award. Backed by the Attorney General, they argue that Justice Nduma Nderi acted in excess of his powers when ordered the pay rise.

Attorney General Githu Muigai told the Court of Appeal that Nderi was merely meant to deliver a judgement on whether the strike teachers called in January was legal.

The Kenya National Union of Teachers and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education teachers however want the appeal thrown out.

They argue that the TSC is in contempt of the very court from which they are seeking redress. The Court of Appeal having directed TSC to effect the pay increment from August pending the determination of the suit.

The TSC has however defied this order with the Attorney General submitting that the increment was not budgeted for.

The Executive’s failure to effect the pay rise led the aforementioned unions to call for a strike.

The strike affected the start of the third term and was only suspended after Justice Nelson Abuodha of the Employment and Labour Relations Court directed it.

His order that the TSC pay teachers for the period they were on strike, the whole of September, is also under appeal.

TSC says it cannot pay for work not done. It has also challenged Abuodha’s finding that the teachers’ strike was protected by law. Justice Monica Mbaru having previously ruled that it wasn’t.

On Thursday Abuodha said he will rule on the TSC’s application to stay the pay order on November 20.

Abuodha on September 25 directed that teachers suspend their strike for 90 days to allow for conciliatory talks. Once the 90 days were up with no agreement having been reached, he said, the unions would then be free to take, “trade action.”

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