10 December 2018

Kenya: KNUT Rejects State's Affordable Housing Plan

The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) has rejected plans to deduct 1.5 percent of teachers' salaries to help finance the low-cost housing scheme, saying they are already poorly paid.

A report by Knut set to be discussed at the 61 annual delegate's conference set to start on Wednesday in Nairobi, indicates that most teachers have taken loans and any further deductions will be punitive to them.

"In the last collective bargaining agreement, the basic income aspect was not increased and where it was increased that was by a margin of less than three percent. By taxing the same at 1.5 percent, it would imply that the workers gains are being snatched back by the government," the report reads.

CONCERNS

According to the report, the highest paid teacher at Sh203,916 will part with Sh2,294 while the lowest paid at Sh29,008 will part with Sh326 for the scheme per month.

"At the moment it is assumed that every member is earning a net salary that is a third of the gross salary as per the Teachers Service Commission code of regulations, so a deduction of 1.5 percent reduces the net earning, further lowering the earning of the statutory one-third.

"This automatically exposes the teacher making them vulnerable to pecuniary embarrassment and hence subject to disciplinary action by the employer," the report signed by Knut Secretary-General Wilson Sossion says.

The union is also raising concerns whether the land on which houses will be erected has been identified and acquired, wondering where the funds to purchase the land would come from.

The union is also demanding clarification on whether the project will be piloted in Nairobi and then rolled out to other counties or if it will be rolled out at once in all the counties.

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