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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Schools nonteaching staff up in arms Machakos

Cornny Kimbui

Non-teaching staff in secondary schools in Machakos county have raised complaints for lack of payment.
Speaking to Weekly Citizen on condition of anonymity, the workers claimed that they are at loggerheads with their bosses following nonpayment of their salaries which has since accrued into arrears.
“We are aware of what is happening. We won’t be cowed by the management since they have been pocketing our money,” furious workers said.
However, non-teaching staff in secondary schools will soon be paid a salary of up to Sh41,000 if the proposals of the Kilemi Mwiria education taskforce report are adopted.
 The taskforce team called for rationalisation of the number of non-teaching staff based on student enrollment and the number of streams per school.
A secretary in public secondary schools will take home a maximum of Sh24,662 per month. Their minimum pay will be Sh12,510.
The report puts all secretaries under job groups F, G, and H.
The school bursar, who will be in job group K, will now earn Sh41,590 per month. Minimum pay for bursars has been set at Sh31,020.
These staff will be required to have a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) III qualification.
Investigation shows that some of the nonteaching staff have been axed due to bad blood between them and schools management committees.
“Some of the heads have employed their relatives and this does not make work easier and time has come for the managements to shape up,” one of the workers told this paper.
In some schools, the number of non-teaching staff is relatively high hence contributing to the high cost of school fees,” read the interim report from the committee.
The Mwiria taskforce recommended the support of staff to handle multiple roles and lower schools wage bill.
“The driver can act as a messenger too while the cateress can serve as the matron in the school,” the report further recommends.
Non-teaching staff in public secondary schools used to be paid by the government, but this changed in 1993 and the responsibility was transferred to the boards of governors.
This gave room for school authorities to increase the number of support staff.
The taskforce proposed that staff to be employed on contract terms and schools outsource functions such as security, repairs, maintenance and cleaning.
It also wants non-teaching staff working in income-generating ventures like farms owned by schools to be paid from sales generated from the businesses and not fees.
The size of support staff will also be capped depending on whether the school is day or boarding and number of streams.
A day school with a single stream will have a maximum of six support staff while boarding schools will be capped at 10.
A day school with four streams will have a maximum of 13 non-teaching workers while boarding schools will be capped at 28.
Also, in a memorandum of understanding between the ministry of Education and the Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Educational Institutions, Hospitals and Allied Workers, non-teaching staff are supposed to enjoy same terms and conditions of service as the civil servants as per the various job groups.