Teachers employed by Teachers Service Commission (TSC) are still recovering from confusion after a raft of deductions were made on their July payslips.
The Commission has activated its T-Pay portal and teachers are now accessing their payslips online.
Already a good number of teachers have received their July salaries with banks like Equity, KCB, Cooperative and Absa paying by today.
However what is evident is that teachers are for the first time are seeing a National Social Security Fund (NSSF) deducted in their pay.
Also the rate for National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) has risen slightly hence affecting the net salary for most teachers.
For example a teacher in job group C1 who was deducted sh 1,100 towards NHIF suffered a deduction of sh 1,200 towards the same in July pay as well as sh 360 towards NSSF.
Intern teachers in primary and junior secondary schools were also not spared. Around one thousand shillings was deducted after the newly introduced deductions were made.
Though some teachers received their salaries with the annual increment and others with arrears the deductions has shrunk the overall net pay significantly.
We asked some experts why are teachers subjected to two health insurance covers (NHIF and AON Minet) and now a NSSF deduction when they are already paying 7.5% of their basic pay for provident fund.
Mr. Lyambila says it is a responsibility of every Kenyan citizen to contribute towards the NHIF cover as well as the NSSF fund.
Whether one will have an additional fund towards another social security or health cover its their own choice, he says.
President William Ruto on June 26, 2023, made proposals for the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) to enhance equality in payment.
In the proposal announced by the Head of State, Kenyans are to pay the national insurer 2.75% of their gross salary.
Initially there was also a plan to deduct 1.5% of teacher gross pay towards the housing fund but this was stopped by the courts after suspending the 2023 Finance Act.
Though TSC has not paid teachers July salaries with an increment as was announced by President William Ruto, it has now been revealed that it will be paid in August salaries with arrears.
This is because the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) has not completed the review process to factor in the payrise.
On June 30, President Ruto announced that teachers and other civil servants would receive their increased salaries from 1st July.
SRC is currently working on the review after concluding the public participation exercise two weeks ago.
The commission will then gazette the new salaries so that government departments responsible for paying civil servants and teachers can implement the increase.
Sources said that the earliest the reviews can be completed is tomorrow, a date by which many workers expect to receive their salaries.
Workers are also unsure of the amount they will receive after the increase.
“The most important thing is the effective date of the increase. Even if they don’t get the increment this month, they will get it later, taking into account the month of July,” said a source.
The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) has now revealed that its agreement with the President was also tied to the passage of the Finance Act 2023, the implementation of which has been put on hold by the High Court following a petition by Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah.
The court order means that workers will not be deducted the 1.5 per cent housing levy introduced by the Act. It was due to come into effect this month.
Kuppet Secretary-General Akello Misori has raised a red flag over the delay, blaming both the SRC and the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) for failing to reach an agreement in time.
Mr Misori said Kuppet and SRC held a five-hour “consultative meeting” with Dr Ruto at State House in May, where the President assured officials that teachers would get a minimum 10 per cent pay rise “upon the passage of the 2023-2024 Finance Bill”.
“This is unfortunate because we may be shocked to find out that it’s not 10 or 12 per cent as we expected; then it means we have been deceived,” he said.
A number of teachers said their pay slips were yet to be uploaded on the payment portal.
“We’ve had numerous correspondences with the TSC asking for a review of the terms of reference of the 2021-2025 collective agreement, but there’s been a delay because of the procrastination of the SRC and TSC. When the President gave the final nod on this matter, we thought that the Treasury was in agreement and the SRC had also given other public servants the opportunity, especially the civil servants, to discuss their salaries. The President was very clear that this was a matter of between 7 and 10 per cent [increase]. There shouldn’t be any delay,” Mr Misori said.
The union had presented the president with a proposal for an increase of between 30 and 70 per cent, but finally settled for 10 per cent.
Mr Misori asked the commissions to complete the pay increase process since the increment had already been agreed between the union and the president.
But he said the agreement was not on paper and denied that it was linked to their support for the Finance Bill 2023, which was then before Parliament.
“Regrettably, and despite these assurances, the TSC and SRC are still going round in circles while teachers are reeling under the burden of increased taxes and high inflation that the government promised to cushion them from,” said Mr Misori.
When Dr Ruto announced the decision to review salaries, he said senior government officials including himself, his deputy Rigathi Gachagua, members of Parliament, Cabinet secretaries, principal secretaries, speakers of the house and judges among others would not benefit.