Thousands of ECDE teachers employed by counties are staring at a possible cash crunch if the current stalemate on county cash is not resolved immediately. The Kakamega governor has warned that county government services will not be available as all county employees will be released to proceed on leave until an amicable solution on the revenue allocation formula is reached.
This he warned will happen in next two weeks if cash is not released to the already struggling counties.
Most ECDE teachers are now on county payrolls after their employment was contested in the Labour court and the employment moved to counties. Teachers Service Commission (TSC) had moved to court to secure the employment of the teachers but lost to the counties. However TSC is still charged with setting academic standards for would be ECDE teachers. TSC is also mandated with registration of the teachers. Some counties however have been employing ECDE teachers even without proper registration by the commission.
Mr Wycliffe Oparanya who is also the chairman Council of Governors (CoG) said counties were going through tough times and are unable to effectively discharge their functions and general operations.
He said counties were going through tough times and are unable to effectively discharge their functions and general operations including implementation of development projects and payment of salaries to county staff especially in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We express our discontent with Senate’s failure to build consensus on the third generation formula which has consequently delayed the approval of the County Allocation of Revenue Act, 2020. This is tantamount to killing devolution similar to what happened in 1964,” he said.
The governors have however, issued an alternative by asking the National Treasury to apply the current revenue formula and release the county equitable share of revenue without further delays.
They said the Constitution under Article 217(7) allows for the current (second) revenue formula to apply until such a time that the subsequent formula is approved.
Mr Oparanya drew the attention to the Supreme Court Advisory reference No.3 of 2019 which stated that: “Without a budget and consequent financial appropriation there would be no Executive, legislature, Judiciary or county government.”
“The CoG notes with concern that despite the above pronouncement by the Supreme Court plus the requirement under Article 1990 of the Constitution, the Senate has failed to safeguard the interests of County Governments by failing to pass the 3rd generation formula. We therefore have no alternative, but shut down the counties until the MPs will deem it fit to release monies to county governments,” he said.
Among counties which have successfully placed teachers on payroll include Kwale, Bomet, Tana River, Turkana among others. However counties are yet to implement the Schemes of Service for ECDE teachers which would assure them of a good pay.
Other teachers to be affected also are tutors of Technical and Vocational Educational Training (TVET) who were also moved to counties after a contested court battle.
The governors also took issue with the Attorney General censoring him of issuing a contrary advisory to the Constitution and the Supreme Court Advisory.
They have tasked the AG, Mr Paul Kihara to withdraw his advisory “because he cannot overrule the Supreme Court finding”.