What you need to know:
- High-ranking officers and secondary school staff are the biggest winners in Uhuru’s Sh6.9 billion award
Kenya’s teachers will enjoy salary increments of up to 67 per cent from next month as the government implements a pact signed with their union early this year.
They will receive increases of between Sh1,426 for the lowest paid teacher (P2) and Sh30,112 for the highest paid tutor (chief principal) in the first of a three-phase programme.
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) also announced impending increases in perks that will see chief principals in Nairobi get a housing allowance of Sh40,000.
Allocations for the huge salary increase were contained in the budget speech delivered to Parliament by Finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday.
In the Budget, Mr Kenyatta, who hammered a back-to-work formula that ended an 11-day work stoppage by striking teachers early this year, increased the Education ministry’s allocation for payment of salaries and other expenses to Sh117 billion, up from Sh106 billion last year.
The increases announced by TSC secretary Gabriel Lengoiboni will see the salary of the highest paid chief principal rise from Sh44,990 to Sh75,102, representing a 67 per cent increase.
That of the lowest paid chief principal will go up from Sh36,790 to Sh59,768.
It is one of the highest ever single basic salary increases for teachers, which also comes less than three years after they benefited from the delayed deal of 1997, which offered them increments of up to Sh150 per cent over a 10-year period.
Besides, the chief principals of schools in Nairobi city will take home Sh40,000 in house allowances, while those in other areas will receive Sh15,000.
It means a chief principal can now receive a consolidated salary of more than Sh130,000.
This will include a basic pay of Sh75,102, house allowance of Sh40,000, responsibility allowance of Sh7,500 and medical allowance of Sh4,412. It would also include a commuter allowance of Sh4,410.
The awards were given following an 11-day strike called by Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) officials in January.
The strike was ended after the then newly-appointed Finance minister, Mr Kenyatta, brokered a deal with the union, who accepted that the Sh17 billion salary provisions be implemented in three phases.
Under the agreement, the pay increment will be spread out in three years at a rate of 40-40-20 beginning July 1.
The implementation phase is to end in July 1, 2011, although the situation can change if the economy, currently struggling, improves.
But a Saturday Nation analysis of the new salaries showed that they seem to favour senior teachers, whose increments are much more than those of the junior staff, who also form the bulk of the tutors.
The least paid teacher, for example, a P2, will only receive a basic a salary increment of between eight and 12 per cent compared to the chief principal who will receive a 67 per cent rise based on their already higher salaries.
The lowest paid P2 teacher will have a salary increase of about Sh1,500 - from Sh10,185 to Sh11,611.
The highest paid P2 teacher will have the salary increased from Sh12,135 to Sh13,069.
The salary of the least paid teacher in the next grade, P1, will rise from Sh11,180 to Sh12,745, while the highest paid teacher in that category will have the salary go up from Sh15,130 to Sh16,268.
The majority of teachers, about 170,000, are in the P1 category.
The lowest paid diploma technical teachers and approved teacher IV will have their salaries raised from Sh12,470 to Sh14,365 while the highest paid teacher’s pay will be raised from Sh17,580 to Sh18,663.
Senior graduate teachers will have the salaries go up from a low of Sh24,650 to a high of Sh36,956.
According to the agreement, senior principal graduate teachers will have their salaries increased from a low of Sh34,010 per month to Sh51,416, while the highest paid teacher’s salary in that category will be raised from Sh41,660 to Sh64,574.
The new awards were meant to harmonise terms between the teachers and civil servants, a move that seems to have only augured well for the secondary and college teachers.
It explains why the post-primary tutors under the Kenya Union of Post-Primary School Teachers accepted the offer quickly while those teaching in primary schools objected to the harmonisation.
In a circular dated June 10, Mr Lengoiboni said the new salaries followed the agreement entered between the Knut and the government on January 29.
It will be implemented in three phases starting July 1.
“The new conditions of service apply to all teachers in the service on or after July 1, 2009, including those on leave pending retirement or final termination of retirement,” he said.
The circular “Implementation of the Negotiated Teachers Salaries” will only cover the first phase of the award and would affect the basic salaries.
That means the housing, medical, commuter and hardship allowances will remain unchanged. These are the allowances that were the subject of dispute with Knut officials who recently attempted to have them renegotiated, much to the opposition of the government.
Already, the TSC has written to Education minister Sam Ongeri asking him to disband the team in charge of negotiating salaries, arguing that it had outlived its mandate following the new salaries agreement.
The agreement had no rider that the allowances would be in for any negotiation This means Knut might have determined its case that the salaries are not in for any negotiations under the new agreement.
In the circular, Mr Lengoiboni said the hardship allowances for teachers would remain at the rate they were.
“However, any teacher employed, promoted or deployed to a hardship zone will be paid hardship allowances (as per current terms),” he said.
The hardship allowances vary from Sh3,055 per month for a teacher in job group F to Sh11,037 for one in job group R. Those in special schools will get allowances of between Sh1,018 and Sh3,679 per month.
Responsibility allowances for head teachers, deputies and senior teachers will be paid differently.
Heads of schools with single streams will receive Sh750 per month, while those heading schools with 10 streams would take home Sh7,500.
Senior teachers will receive between Sh150 and Sh300 for those handling single streams and 10 streams respectively.
Those for deputies will range from Sh200 and Sh2,000.
Mr Lengoiboni sent the circular to the head of the Public Service Francis Muthaura and permanent secretaries in the ministries of Education, Science and Technology, Finance, Labour and Public Service.
Mr Lengoiboni will be attempting to successfully implement another phased salary after he did so for the controversial 1997 deal.
He was appointed to the commission just after Knut managed to push the Narc administration to shorten the implementation period of the 1997 deal from 10 years to six.