The appellate judges nullified the pay award, saying the labour court had no jurisdiction to give the award.
Justice Odek said the determination of remuneration and benefits paid to public officers is unconstitutional without advice from the SRC which is charged with fixing salaries of all civil servants
“The ruling of Judge Nduma Nderi has been rendered null and void. It is only Teachers Service Commission (TSC) which has the constitutional mandate to carry out job evaluation,” Odek said in his ruling.
The TSC on June 30 had appealed against the ruling by Justice Nduma Nderi that awarded teachers the pay increase, spread between July 1, 2013, and June 30, 2017.
All the judges allowed the appeal by TSC and unanimously faulted the Employment and Labour Relations Court for disregarding the role of the SRC.
Both the government and the teachers, through their unions, in September maintained hardline positions, prompting the unions to embark on a month-long industrial action on Aug. 31.
While teachers, who were awarded a 50 to 60 percent pay rise by the Industrial Court, wanted the deal implemented to the latter before they return to class, the government, through the TSC had maintained it had no money to pay.
The two antagonists, teachers represented by the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) and Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET), and the TSC dragged each other to court for a month as over the 12 million learners in the East African nation’s public schools watched from the sidelines.
The appellate judges said the labour court lacked jurisdiction to conduct conciliatory proceedings between the teachers’ unions and their employer, the TSC.
The impact of the four week industrial action which was finally called off early October by teachers union continues to be felt across public schools in the country, after the TSC declined to release September salaries for the teachers, saying they did not work.
Teachers have gone on strike in Kenya over pay since independence with one of the major ones happening in 1997 where schools were closed for about a month.
The government then agreed to increased teachers’pay by about 200 percent to be implemented in phases.
It is this deal that is haunting the current government because, since then, the strikes have been perennial, happening almost every year, with teachers agitating for higher pay. Enditem