TSC SHOULD FIX DISCREPANCIES IN TEACHERS’ SALARIES, KUPPET NOW DEMANDS; LATEST NEWS ON TSC SALARIES
In 2015, a landmark court battle between the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers, KUPPET, and the teachers’ employer the Teachers Service Commission, TSC culminated in THE AWARDING OF A 50 TO 60 percent increment of teachers’ basic salaries to redress discrimination in TSC pay structures.
However, it is now five years down the line but teachers are still suffering under a discriminatory regime that has continued to give room for unjustifiable discrepancies in the pay for various TSC employees.
Protracted negotiations between the KUPPET and TSC were based on the fact that although the TSC grading systems for the TSC secretariat were similar to those of teachers, there were discrepancies when it comes to salaries.
According to the complaints tabled by KUPPET then, the TSC secretariat staff earn salaries of between 50 and 60 percent above that of the teachers despite having similar qualifications and being in the same grades.
Under the Constitution, the right to equality and nondiscrimination is a basic tenet of the bill of rights. KUPPET, therefore, wanted the salaries to be harmonized.
The TSC however tabled a counter-proposal to the 50-60 percent dubbed the “working document.”
The commission then sought the inclusion of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission, SRC to enable it to come up with a concrete proposal.
This resulted in the TSC appealing the judgment. The court of appeal ruled that the Labour Court did not have the basis to determine the percentage for the increase of the basic salary of a teacher.
Since the appellate judgment, the Government has not shown any willingness to address the outright discrimination in the TSC pay structure.
KUPPET has therefore decided to seek constitutional remedies for the Government’s inaction.
“Where a minister or body refuses or neglects to act on court orders, the proper course is for the party to apply to the High Court for an order of mandamus compelling performance of statutory duty. The union’s legitimate claims must be constitutionally and procedurally processes. The need to retrace all constitutional and statutory steps to an eventual end of a valid salary increment and a proper negotiated CBA is an urgent one,” wrote KUPPET’S Deputy Secretary-General in The Standard yesterday.
KUPPET further argues that the determination of matters of the national wage bill must involve the National Treasury, SRC, and TSC.
The SRC cannot however negotiate with trade unions on matters salary increment since there is no constitutional body to cater to them.
KUPPET concludes by saying that teachers have legitimate expectations to be treated equally with other TSC employees at the Secretariat. After Covid-19, the union has promised to use all its available resources to challenge the unjustifiable discrepancies in TSC salary structures.