November 16, 2018

Matiang’i loses Sh9.6 million case

The Employment and Labour Relations Court ordered Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i to ensure that salaries of non-teaching staff in primary schools are harmonised with those of other civil servants.

Judge Byram Ongaya directed Dr Matiang’i to ensure that the Basic Education Act of 2013, which ensures that salaries are harmonised, was fully implemented.

“The court finds that institutions established by the national government to undertake such functions are clearly part of public services and they include public primary schools such as the one managed by the respondent,” the judge ruled on Friday (12/05/17).

The decision by the court was reached after 33 non-teaching staff sued the Nyeri Primary School Board of Management.

The 33 employees are also to share Sh9.6 million, which they had asked to be awarded as a result of the school’s failure to give them a pay rise since 2011.

“The court finds that the persons employed by the respondent (board of management) clearly hold a public office and are public officers within the constitutional definition of public service; the court holds that such employees are clearly in the service of the Government department responsible for the vested constitutional functions and in this case, the Ministry of Education,” Ongaya ruled.

In the suit, the emloyees claimed commuter allowances, annual leave allowances and salary arrears from the time the circular became effective were not paid.

The argument held by the Government was that the circular referred to was meant for civil servants. But the court found that there was no clear evidence.
“In any event, the court has considered that the circulars did not specifically exclude the claimants. The court finds that the persons employed by the Board of Management are part of the public service paid out of funds provided by Parliament within the framework of free basic education,” ruled the judge.

The court also noted there was no evidence that the Government had parallel systems placing its employees in different job groups.

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