Teachers To Wait Longer For Salary Increment in Ruto’s Government
Teachers are expected to wait longer for a salary increment under the Kenya kwanza government, headed by President William Ruto.
Even though the Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua had promised earlier that teachers’ salaries and allowances will be reviewed, it seems clearly that the statement had politics in it.
The greenlight given by President Ruto to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) to slash salaries of public officers has made the government’s plans to raise teachers’ salaries uncertain.
Kenya Kwanza government has expressed determination to reduce the escalating public wage bill and concurrently collect more revenues from citizens.
While addressing parliament on Thursday, Ruto announced a Sh300 billion cut to this year’s Sh3.3 trillion budget to save public funds and reduce Kenya’s growing debt burden.
Ruto instructed ministries to significantly slash their budgets in a move that could leave public officers the biggest losers with their fat allowances.
According to Ruto, the government is in deep financial crisis and therefore a lot must be done if he is to make any economic progress.
“Our financial situation is not very good. Over the past decade we have sought to close this financing gap with public borrowing. This year alone we budgeted to borrow Sh900 billion to budget both development and recurrent expenditure,” said Dr Ruto.
Ruto stressed that the recurrent expenditure is “not sustainable”, and pledged to reverse the sharp rise in recurrent spending driven by annual growth in civil servants’ salaries and wages, pension payments and debt redemptions within three years.
SRC has for a very long time faced opposition from teachers unions for blocking teacher salary increments and advising Teachers Service Commission (TSC) against salary reviews.
Two weeks ago the Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua too said the government they inherited is cash strapped and more has to be done for the country to realize any economic growth.
“The situation is very bad, there is no money in the Treasury at all, and the little that we are collecting goes to salaries and you have to keep the country going so we need to do a lot to boost production. In another 90-100 days the economy will start feeling the effect of good management,” said Gachagua.
This he said despite his earlier promise in an interview that the government will review teachers salaries to cushion them from high cost of living.
“Teachers salaries and allowance is an issue for discussion. We must all agree that the cost of living has gone very high and teachers are not exempted from the high prices of food and other commodities. And in response the government must take care of its teachers and way is to listen to them and see the cost of living can be addressed,” said Gachagua during an interview.
Talks on teachers’ salaries which were started in July were suspended due to the August polls and are yet to be revived:
The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) and TSC had salary talks in July but the talks were put on hold with knut boss Collins Oyuu saying they will be revisited after the August polls.
We cannot sit back and watch when teachers cannot put food on the table, we will have cordial
dialogue with TSC to ensure they heed our demands. We have started the process with the outgoing government and we shall have it finalized by the new government after the August polls,” said Oyuu
He said the meeting in Naivasha with TSC pushed for teachers’ monetary gain which was agreed through structured talks.
TSC was in a series of meetings with Knut from Tuesday 5th to Friday 8th July 2022 to strike a deal on salary increment for teachers among other issues.
However, the talks which were aimed to review the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) signed in July last year to include monetary terms are yet to be reignited since Ruto was declared President.