Teachers ‘owed Sh1bn’ in acting allowances

Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers National Chairman Amboko Milemba

Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers National Chairman Amboko Milemba during a media briefing in Nairobi on January 19, 2022. He said career progression guidelines make it difficult for classroom teachers to get promotions unless they are in administrative positions. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Teachers in acting capacities are owed Sh1 billion, according to their union, which now wants to renegotiate their pay deal with the government, claiming the current one stagnates their careers.

Mr Omboko Milemba, the national chairman of the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet), told the Nation that the current career progression guidelines make it difficult for classroom teachers to get promotions unless they are in administrative positions.

Mr Milemba accused the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) of failing to confirm teachers who work in acting positions for a long time. He said this amounts to bills for services rendered but not paid for, adding that the union is undertaking research to quantify the amount owed to such teachers.

“This is a pending bill that’s not quantified. This is an exploitation of labour by the TSC and the government. I’ve put a question in Parliament but I’m doing research with my office staff to back the numbers. It’s become impossible to be promoted unless you’re in administration,” said Mr Milemba, who is also the MP for Emuhaya constituency. He said the most affected are teachers in grades C3 and C4.

Cumulatively, he said, the government owes suppliers of goods and services over Sh650 billion. He added that talks were on with the government to raise Sh100 billion to settle part of the bills.

CBA review

While speaking at St Columbans High School in Kitale on Saturday during the union’s annual general meeting, Mr Milemba asked the TSC to review the 2021–2025 collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

“The five-year CBA will quantify promotions for deputy principals, heads of departments, and acting principals who have served for long without payments,” said Mr Milemba.

The union has made its proposals to the commission on new pay packages for teachers. A teacher serving in Job group B1 earns a basic salary of Sh24,250.

Should the union's recommendations be implemented, the teacher will be promoted to job group D5 and earn Sh89,016.

The highest-paid teacher would earn Sh237,376, up from the current Sh148,360.

Mr Milemba further petitioned the government to appoint the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) to provide the teachers’ insurance medical scheme.

“The government should have in the first place allowed several medical insurers to offer services to teachers rather than having them locked to one,” he said.

Mr Milemba claimed that teachers and family members have suffered because of the current medical insurance scheme, which is provided by Minet Kenya Limited. “NHIF being a government body should not be challenged by private insurance providers to offer services to teachers and any other government workers,” he said.

Unhappy teachers

The legislator said it was ironic to have NHIF offering a comprehensive medical insurance package to some civil servants, while teachers continue getting services from Minet.

Trans Nzoia County Executive Secretary Furaha Lusweti, who is also the Waitaluk ward representative, said teachers are unhappy with the services offered by the insurer.

“We need a serious discussion on the cover. It is wrong to subject teachers to a single service provider without public participation,” he said.

Trans Nzoia Lands executive Jeany Mutama, who is also the Kuppet assistant treasurer, said the devolved unit will support matters aimed at empowering teachers economically.

Environment, Water and Climate Change executive Patrick Gacheru called on teachers to participate in afforestation programmes to increase the country’s forest cover.

Education and Vocational Training executive Julie Kichwen, who represented Governor George Natembeya, said Early Childhood Development and Education caregivers will be hired on permanent and pensionable terms.

She added that funds had been allocated for an enhanced bursary scheme to assist bright children from humble backgrounds.


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