ECDE Tutors Protest Over Deducted Salaries
ECDE teachers in Homa Bay have accused the county government of ignoring a court order that put a stop to their salaries cut.
The teachers went to Employment and Labor Relations Court to stop the county government from slashing their salaries after a recommendation from the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).
SRC wrote a letter to governors with recommendations that some ECDE teachers were being paid salaries that were above the required rate.
The teachers sued the county government and listed county public service board, Governor Gladys Wanga and county secretary Bernard Muok as the first, second, third and fourth respondents respectively.
Justice Christine Baari directed the county government to maintain paying the teachers their salaries as per their previous terms.
“An order is hereby issued that the status, entitlement, remuneration and emoluments of the petitioners as at December 30, 2022, be maintained until hearing and determination of the main petition,” the judge ruled.
But on Sunday, the teachers who processed their March 2023 pay-slips discovered that their pay was cut. Some teachers who were supposed to get Sh21,000 found they were paid Sh19,000.
The teachers protested that salaries were deducted against the court order.
“It is very unfortunate that our salaries have continued to get deducted despite the court order. Homa Bay teachers are getting frustrated by our employer,” a teacher said.
Homa Bay executive for Education Martin Opere said they would address the issues.
Ouma said they are told some errors occurred when paying teachers.
“We wonder why it is teachers only who are affected by the error,” Ouma said.
Last month, the teachers through their union of the Kenya National Union of Pre Primary Education Teachers (Kunnopet) accused Homa Bay government of failing to address their grievances.
Union officials said their members are suffering because of salary deductions.
Homa Bay Kunoppet chairman Michael Odera and Secretary Bernard Ouma said their problems started when their employer declined to review their empowerment terms to permanent and pensionable.
“Homa Bay government is not ready to understand and respond to our issues. It is taking us back by refusing to implement new terms of employment,” Odera said.
According to the unionist, their employer promised to implement the changes after a meeting in January. But most tutors said they are still stuck in the old system.
“Pay slips still read we are employed on contract basis. We have given room for negotiation but the employer has been ignoring us,” he said.
He said teachers are demanding for their rights because they were rightfully employed.
Employees on permanent and pensionable terms enjoy job security as well as earn pension after leaving the job.
During a meeting with Governor Wanga in February, they resolved that salaries will be increased.