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Don’t pay July salaries, Sarah Serem team warns Teachers Service Commission

Posted In Education, NEWS - By admin on Wednesday, July 24th, 2013 With No Comments »

seremA fresh conflict looms between the giant teachers’ union and the government after a constitutional commission warned strongly against paying tutors this month’s salary.

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) has asked the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) not to pay July salaries to teachers who were on a strike that was called off on July 17.

Instructively, SRC chairperson Sarah Serem wrote to the TSC on July 19, a day after the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) signed a deal to end the 23-day strike.

The development could worsen the strained relations between the State and Knut, whose top two officials were each fined Sh500,000 and the union Sh5 million, for contempt of court over the strike.

Knut were stunned by the sentence handed down by the Industrial Court on Monday because they had called off the strike the previous week and pleaded with authorities to withdraw the case filed by TSC.

Through a letter seen by The Standard, the SRC has instructed TSC not to pay teachers who boycotted work after the Industrial Court ruled the strike illegal and directed teachers to resume work by July 1.

In the terse letter to TSC secretary Gabriel Lengoiboni, Serem has warned TSC boss will be held liable if he makes any payment to teachers.

She said it would be unconstitutional to direct any monies to pay for services not rendered by teachers during the period they were out of class.

The letter headlined Industrial action by the teachers in employment of TSC, is dated July 19, a day after Knut signed a return-to-work formula with TSC.

Serem asked teachers’ employer TSC to be well advised on remuneration of the teachers and termed any payments to teachers who were on strike as illegal.

“Please take note that as a public officer, if you pay or approve the payment of any remuneration and benefits out of public funds contrary to SRC instruction or advise and more so in contravention to court order to resume work, any payment made for the period during which teachers were on strike would be illegal and in contravention of Article 226(5) of the Constitution which places responsibility of public funds on such officer,” reads part of Serem’s letter.

A fresh conflict looms between the giant teachers’ union and the government after a constitutional commission warned strongly against paying tutors this month’s salary.

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) has asked the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) not to pay July salaries to teachers who were on a strike that was called off on July 17.

Instructively, SRC chairperson Sarah Serem wrote to the TSC on July 19, a day after the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) signed a deal to end the 23-day strike.

The development could worsen the strained relations between the State and Knut, whose top two officials were each fined Sh500,000 and the union Sh5 million, for contempt of court over the strike.

Knut were stunned by the sentence handed down by the Industrial Court on Monday because they had called off the strike the previous week and pleaded with authorities to withdraw the case filed by TSC.

Through a letter seen by The Standard, the SRC has instructed TSC not to pay teachers who boycotted work after the Industrial Court ruled the strike illegal and directed teachers to resume work by July 1.

In the terse letter to TSC secretary Gabriel Lengoiboni, Serem has warned TSC boss will be held liable if he makes any payment to teachers.

She said it would be unconstitutional to direct any monies to pay for services not rendered by teachers during the period they were out of class.

The letter headlined Industrial action by the teachers in employment of TSC, is dated July 19, a day after Knut signed a return-to-work formula with TSC.

Serem asked teachers’ employer TSC to be well advised on remuneration of the teachers and termed any payments to teachers who were on strike as illegal.

“Please take note that as a public officer, if you pay or approve the payment of any remuneration and benefits out of public funds contrary to SRC instruction or advise and more so in contravention to court order to resume work, any payment made for the period during which teachers were on strike would be illegal and in contravention of Article 226(5) of the Constitution which places responsibility of public funds on such officer,” reads part of Serem’s letter.

The hardline stance taken by Knut saw national chairman Wilson Sossion and the secretary general Mudzo Nzili each fined Sh500,000 for contempt of court.

The union was also fined Sh5 million by the Industrial Court. Knut officials yesterday said they would appeal against the decision.

In her letter, Serem instructs TSC that salary must be paid to teachers who have worked and are being compensated for work done. She also wants TSC not to pay union dues for the said period.

Reports indicate that TSC remits about Sh102 million to Knut every month. Kuppet receives over Sh20 million.

“There is need to recognize productivity and performance, and transparency and fairness,” she said.

Serem adds that there is need to ensure that the public compensation Bill is fiscally sustainable and that public service is able to attract and retain the skills required to execute their functions.

The Commission currently spends some Sh13 billion to pay the 278,000 teachers on their payroll.

-The Standard

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