ECDE Teachers Rejects News SRC’s Salary, More Details
The Kenya Union of Pre- Primary Education Teachers (KUNOPPET) has dismissed the Salaries and Remuneration Commission’s (SRC) salary structure for Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE) teachers, saying they were not consulted.
In a letter dated December 10, 2021 addressed to Council of Governors (COG) chairman Hon. Martin Wambora, the Commission came up with an advisory on new job evaluation grading and remuneration structures for ECDE teachers.
“Following the deliberations in the various consultative meetings with relevant stakeholders and the challenges observed in matters of funding and remuneration for the ECDE Teachers at the county government, the Commission has developed a salary structure for the ECDE cadres (Diploma and Certificate levels) based on the results of the job evaluation,” read the letter signed by SRC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mrs. Anne Gitau.
KUNOPPET Secretary General Samuel Opiyo told Education News in a recent interview that as stakeholders in ECDE, SRC should have consulted them before coming up with the salary structure advisory. He lauded the county governments for disregarding the SRC salaries since they are below the minimum gazetted wage.
“SRC has indicated in their letter that they ‘consulted stakeholders’. We were not consulted and yet we are the primary stakeholders,” said Opiyo.
According to the SRC advisory, after carrying out the job evaluation exercise a certificate holder (entry level) qualified as Assistant ECDE Teacher III is supposed to earn Ksh7,836 on the minimum and Ksh 8,717 on the maximum as basic monthly salary. The minimum gazetted wage for a casual employee who is unskilled is a minimum Ksh 15,000 per month
SRC further advises that Diploma holders (Senior ECDE Teacher I) with 15 years’ experience to earn Ksh 15, 224 on the minimum and Ksh 19,064 on the maximum.
However, it seems the county governments disregarded the SRC advisory since after SRC sent the letter, COG wrote another letter signed by COG CEO Ms. Mary Mwiti instructing all County Executive Committee Members (CECM) in charge of Finance and Education as well as county secretaries to use the approved Scheme of Service when recruiting new ECDE teachers.
“The purpose of this letter, therefore, is to forward to you the ECDE Teacher Scheme of Service to guide the recruitment and Career progression of pre-primary teachers for implementation,” instructed Ms. Mwiti in the letter in part.
Ms. Mwiti further stated in the letter that the County bosses agreed to implement the Scheme of Service during the COG’s meeting held on December 20, 2021 where they resolved that the CoG Secretariat will share with all the county governments the approved ECDE Teachers Scheme of Service.
Under the COG new salary structure, ECDE teachers who are certificate holders at Job Group F are supposed to earn Ksh16,250 as basic monthly salary, while Diploma holders at Job Group ‘H’ are to earn Ksh27,195 and Degree holders at Job Group ‘K’ will earn Ksh33,994 across all counties.
Apart from the basic monthly salary, the governors resorted to pay the teachers housing allowances varying between Ksh2, 700 to Ksh16, 500 depending on one’s Job Group and the county where the teacher works, and Commuter allowance of Ksh3,000 for certificate holders, Ksh4,000 for Diploma holders and Ksh5,000 for Degree holders (Job Group K) across all counties; with each county further paying the teachers varying amounts of pensions according to their qualifications and Job Group.
The SRC advisory on the other hand only had commuter and house allowance, with the advisory noting that house allowances should be paid as per prevailing SRC circulars categorizing them into four clusters.
The SRC advisory is however silent on the minimum and maximum salary for the Degree holders despite categorizing them into seven Job Evaluation (JE)grades, which are Graduate ECDE Teacher III (entry), II and I, Principal Graduate ECDE Teacher II and I(Assistant Director), Senior Principal Graduate ECDE Teacher II (Deputy Director) and Chief Principal ECDE Teacher (Director).
Opiyo states further that SRC had overstepped on their mandate since according to Article 230 (4) (b) of the Constitution, they are only advisors to the national and county governments on remuneration and benefits of all public officers.
“What they have done is setting salaries because there are specific figures they have come up with. That cannot be an advisory. They have set salaries,” said Opiyo.
He observed that the only group SRC sets salaries for are state officers.
“Such salaries are supposed to be approved by SRC through an advisory opinion by looking at parameters like national wage bill and economic trends, among others, then they can now advise. The employer has the latitude to set salaries within the range given by SRC,” added Opiyo.
However, SRC told Education News that it deals directly with employers and not trade unions, and that trade unions only come in when there is a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
“As a matter of principle, SRC does not deal directly with trade unions, but with the employers. The trade union only comes in when there is a CBA, and even with that they raise their issues with the employer and the employer engages SRC on the same,” said SRC Communication Officer Tony Mwangi.
Mwangi maintains that SRC involved all the county governments in the entire process of job evaluation and majorly the County Public Service Boards (CPSB) and county executive committees in charge of education before communicating the grading and salary structures to county governments through the COG.
Mwangi further added that the SRC advises on the remuneration and benefits for other public officers including the ECDE teachers, and that COG has been identified as a coordinating body on matters county government given that it is an umbrella body.
“Due to challenges experienced and raised by majority of counties in the funding of ECDE schemes, COG plays a vital role through the budget committee in terms of sourcing for funds for the counties,” said Mwangi.
ECDE Basic Salaries Comparison between SRC and COG
Evaluated Job Title Minimum Qualification and Experience JE GRADE SRC Approved Basic Salary Per Month (Ksh)
COG Basic Salary Per Month (Ksh) as per Scheme of Service Min(Ksh) Max (Ksh)
Senior ECDE Teacher I Dip. ECDE, 15 years C1 15,224 19,094 27,195
Senior ECDE Teacher II Dip. ECDE, 12 years B5-12,980, 16,054
Senior ECDE Teacher III Dip. ECDE, 9 years
ECDE Teacher I Dip. ECDE, 6years
ECDE Teacher II Dip. ECDE, 3 years
ECDE Teacher III Dip. ECDE, Entry B4
11,467 14,123 27,195
Senior Assistant ECDE Teacher I Cert. in ECDE, 15 years16,250
Senior Assistant ECDE Teacher II Cert. in ECDE, 12 years
Senior Assistant ECDE Teacher III Cert. in ECDE, 9 years B3 9,060 11,113
Assistant ECDE Teacher I Cert. in ECDE, 6 years B2 8,404 9,425
Assistant ECDE Teacher II Cert. in ECDE, 3 years
Assistant ECDE Teacher III Cert. in ECDE, Entry Level B1 7,836 8,717