Senators, Governors say ready to take salary cut to pay teachers
Senators and Governors now say they are ready to take a pay cut and the deducted amount used to pay teachers who have been on strike for three weeks over pay increment.
This is according to Siaya Senator James Orengo and Kiambu Governor William Kabogo who said they are willing to sacrifice to see children go back to school.
The two, who were speaking during the burial of Nairobi Senator Gidion Mbuvi alias Mike Sonko’s father Mzee Gideon Mbuvi, said the teachers’ strike was affecting the learning calendar and pattern in the country.
Orengo said that the statement was a show of commitment and goodwill in addressing the teachers’ pay rise.
“If we are true to the plight of teachers, let us reduce our salaries,” said Orengo adding that Kenya is one nation and everybody has a role to play.
“There is no country called Jubilee and no country called CORD. Only one country called Kenya. Senators and Members of Parliament should take a salary cut to pay teachers as a show of commitment and goodwill.”
Orengo said that it was unfortunate that the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) resulted to intimidations rather than looking for money to pay teachers or calling for dialogue.
He further accused the TSC and the Jubilee administration of being indifferent when it comes to matters touching on the teachers’ pay rise.
On his part, Governor Kabogo said that the National Assembly needs to pass legislations that will ensure teachers get the pay rise even if it means reducing the salaries of other civil servants and elected leaders.
“The solution to teachers’ strike is Members of Parliament to go back and pass legislations that will see teachers paid,” he said.
He, however, challenged TSC, the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) to sit down and negotiate on the way forward.
The teachers’ pay rise issue dominated the burial service with majority of the speakers – drawn from the National Assembly, the Senate, the County Governments and other institutions – calling on President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene and ensure that the strike, which entered its third week on Monday, ends.
However, President Uhuru Kenyatta did not comment on the matter despite the mounting pressure from all fronts.
Late last week, the President termed the 50 – 60% pay rise demand by the teachers as unsustainable and unrealistic saying that the already struggling economy will be affected further.
He said that the wage bill is already too high and any extra cost would push it even further.
This comes even as teachers – under KNUT and KUPPET – said they will not resume duties until the pay rise is effected amid sack threats by TSC.
TSC has already served 5,000 head teachers with letters for allegedly absconding duties.