Intern teachers in parts of the country are protesting the new policies by the employer, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).
The intern tutors are unhappy with the government’s decision to subject their meager pay to taxes, statutory deductions stemming from the Finance Act 2023.
Moreover, they singled out the mandatory 1.5% housing levy and the National Hospital Insurance Fund – NHIF.
“The interns are not part of our members, but they are going to join us in the next few years, and we have every right to speak and raise their issues as they wait to become full members,’ said KUPPET Secretary General Vihiga branch, Sabala Inyeni.
Further, he said the interns accepted the one-year contracts to have an advantage during the TSC recruitment process.
TSC on the spot over MPs involvement
Also, the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) wants TSC to explain reports that teachers are getting placement upon receiving letters from area Members of Parliament.
“We are surprised because as I am talking to you so many teachers are being employed by the government through their MPs.
It appears that once you are an intern and you cannot connect to your MPs, you won’t get these slots,” Inyeni claimed.
Further, he noted that TSC is an independent institution protected by the Constitution, adding that it should remain an equal opportunity employer.
“We want the TSC to come clean on this matter because we want to know the exact role of an MP in the employment of teachers,” he said.
Additionally, the union official pointed out that some of the teachers being employed by TSC graduated after those serving as interns.
“So, the interns are wondering when they will be employed, it is giving them hopelessness and if we don’t address this issue, some of them will not renew those contracts which expire in December this year,” Inyeni added.
He confirmed that the interns are paying the NHIF, NSSF and the Housing Levy out of the Ksh.20,000 salary.
Further, he said the interns were not included in the 7-10% pay rise deal which the TSC and three unions of teachers signed.
“I expected their pay to be revised to Ksh.25,000 so that when they pay the deductions, they can come back to Ksh.20,000 where they were.
As I am talking to you most of them are earning about Ksh.15,000, unable to pay rent and meet their needs and even to afford fare to go to schools and teach,” he said.
In addition, he said they will continue to fight for the interns even though they are not members of KUPPET.