Government fear as Supreme Court set to rule on teacher's pay rise
23 August 2015, 10:50
Nairobi - There is fear from the government of the impending ruling by the Supreme Court on the recent teacher's pay hike, which some say could lead to economic breakdown.
The Supreme Court rules Monday on the issue, which has seen teachers awarded a pay hike of between 50 and 60%.
The Labour Court awarded the increase in June and the Appeals Court upheld the decision two weeks ago after the government protested the decision.
If the Supreme Court does go ahead and grant the teachers the hike, then there will be meltdown in government.
" I do not think the current economic climate can support the pay hike," economics expert Julius Nagira told News24.
" The reason the government has tried its best to swat this issue is for obvious reasons. The money aspect is damning and will be a big problem," he added.
Numbers as they say do not lie.
If teachers get their way, the government will be forced to fork out KES 721 billion in salaries alone, with pension scheme debt to rise to close to KES 1 trillion.
That will mean a KES 1.69 trillion liability for the government, one which they are not willing to take at present.
The KES 721 billion is at present over half the revenue collections in the country, a worrying time for the government indeed.
On the flip-side, if the court does back the government's arguments, then teachers will go on strike, yet another headache for the government.
" We deserve the pay. No one can argue about it. We deserve it and we will get it by whatever means," Kenya National Union of Teachers Secretary General Wilson Sossion said.
As they say, it will be a lose lose situation, but certainly, the government will be hoping that Chief Justice Willy Mutunga and co will do them a favor.
" This will be a historic ruling in many ways. Will the judges rule in favour of common sense, which is that teachers need a pay rise, or will they go with the hard reality, which is that the government cannot afford it?" Nagira poses.
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