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Govt has no funds to pay teachers, insists Rotich

02 September 2015, 08:14 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Henry Rotich has maintained that the government has no funds to effect the 50 to 60 percent pay rise for teachers.

Rotich, who was addressing the media after appearing before a Senate committee Tuesday, said the teachers’ pay rise was not included in the 2015/16 Financial Year budget and warned that any further pay rise to public servants will increase the looming wage bill.

However, he said the government is waiting for the September 22 appeal ruling by the Court of Appeal because Supreme Court’s ruling that granted teachers the salary increment did not consider the government’s raised issues stating impracticability to implement the directive.

“There should be no strike and teachers should be teaching as the government addresses this matter. We are currently in a situation where the wage bill and any salary review must take into account affordability to pay,” said Rotich.

He said the government will only move to review salaries of public servants once the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) is done with the harmonization of all civil servants monthly pay and its report submitted for implementation.

Read Also: Teachers should remain on strike, ODM says

“The government is addressing the teachers’ issue in a structured manner. SRC has to confirm completion of salary restructuring for the government to act. The teachers’ pay rise is not physically attainable as at now but when the economy grows the government will review the public servants’ salaries,” said Rotich.

The Cabinet Secretary added that the government had only budgeted for the harmonization of teachers’ allowances, which has already been implemented, and warned that the government cannot commit the demanded KES 17 billion for teachers’ pay rise while leaving out other public servants.

Although MPs have been asking the Teachers Service Commission and the National Treasury to present a supplementary budget to the National Assembly Budget and Appropriation committee for adoption and forwarded to Parliament for passage to meet the teachers pay demands to evade the looming strike, Rotich maintained that the government has no additional resources.    

Teachers' unions - KNUT and KUPPET - have officially announced the teachers' strike which will paralyze learning in public primary and secondary schools despite being third term when candidates prepare for their national examinations.

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