Teachers have welcomed President William Ruto’s decision to review their salaries starting July 1.
The Head of State has proposed a seven to 10 percent review on the lower paid government officers with the increment expected to occur in two phases.
Through their representatives, teachers said the move was long overdue considering the inflation rate in the country.
Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) Secretary General Kuppet Akelo Misori thanked the President for taking in consideration their concerns.
‘‘We appreciate President Ruto for taking our concerns and putting on hold the benefits to other state officers but looking down on the down trodden members of the Public Service Commission including teachers,’’ Misori said.
Misori however urged the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to convene a meeting with the unions and give way forward on the rate of review.
‘‘We urge the TSC to urgently call for a seat with us so as to draw a clear line on the percentage we are going to accrue to teachers. Our hope is that teachers will be given the 10 percent,’’ he stated.
Misori said although Kenya’s education system still commands lead in the region, it continues to experience many hurdles in access, quality, equity and transition.
He accused the commission of insincerity saying the recommendations by the SRC to raise the civil servant pay two years ago was ignored.
‘‘This is a sigh of relief after the commission gave us a deaf ear on the remuneration of our teachers. The President has heard our plight and acted on it at a time when ordinary Kenyans are suffering from skyrocketing inflation and low salaries,’’ Misori said.
Kenya National Union of Teachers Secretary General Collins Oyuu also hailed the Head of State’s stamen saying it is long overdue and a total relief to teachers.
‘‘Talk of civil servants, talk of increasing their packs then don’t look at them as being without the teachers in mind. We are not basically left out and however little they will give us, we will receive with the right hand and open the left hand for more,’’ Oyuu said.
Oyuu noted the union had earlier handed the union’s demand to President Ruto and had shown an indication of a hearing ear.
‘‘We had presented our case to him and it was not an open condition for the housing levy, our interaction with him had indicated that something should be done if he really wanted to push teachers in this line,’’ he stated.
Kenya Primary Schools Heads Association (KEPSHA) chairman Johnson Nzioka said any increment in teachers pockets will be a relief to teachers considering the high cost of living.
‘‘That is a great thing to the teachers given that they are also expected to pay other statutory deductions imposed by the same government. Given the cost of living has shot up, that was overdue,’’ Nzioka said.
Kenya Union of Special Needs and Training (KUSNET) Chairman Peter Sitienei said, teachers are the touch bearers of the government policies implementation who needs to be paid well.
‘‘Teachers do a lot of work to mould the society and it is a high time their salaries are considered in the review. Teachers in Special Needs Education should be considered for promotion and paid well,’’ he stated.
He said delayed capitation, infrastructure needs, poor salary and equitable distribution of resources across schools have continued affecting teachers’ quest to deliver quality education to learners.