CORD accused of misleading teachers on pay

CORD accused of misleading teachers on pay

The Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) has come under sharp criticism for allegedly fueling the ongoing teachers’ strike by inciting teachers not to go back to school despite having been on strike for four weeks now.

According to Garissa County SUPKEM Chair Sheikh Abdullahi Salat, CORD knowingly misled the teachers by saying that the government has refused to pay them.

Sheikh Salat further accused CORD of pitting the government and teachers against each other in the pay rise row instead of bringing them to a negotiating table.

Speaking at General Mohammud Idd Grounds in Garissa during the Eid Hajj prayers, Salat appealed to government and teachers to dialogue to end the pay stalemate.

On Wednesday, CORD leader Raila Odinga launched a kitty to enable the public contribute money to cater for teachers salaries.

Speaking during a CORD rally at Uhuru Park in Nairobi, Odinga said he had made a personal contribution of Ksh 100,000 and urged Kenyans to contribute.

Odinga also pointed out that the government wage bill had been bloated by ghost workers and redundant roles in both the national and county governments, saying proper structuring is needed to save public coffer.

He accused the government of failing to pay teachers in line with the Employment and Labour Relations Court ruling made in June this year awarding them a 50 to 60 per cent increment and instead taking them through protracted court battles.

“Our teachers have demanded a day’s pay for a day’s work. Our courts have agreed that they deserve it, they must have it,” said Odinga.

“President Uhuru Kenyatta has said he can’t pay, won’t pay making our children find themselves at home and not at school as it tradition.”

Odinga accused President Kenyatta of dishonesty in his apparent refusal to pay teachers saying the government has enough revenue collection to sustain teachers’ salary demands.

“In 2012/13, the last year of the grand coalition government, our tax revenue was Ksh 807 billion, in the last financial year it was Ksh 1.16 trillion and it is projected to stand at Ksh 1.25 trillion this financial year,” he said.

“In the 2015/16 financial year, the country’s budget was Ksh 443 billion more than that of the grand coalition and yet the government is telling us that out of this, we cannot afford Ksh 17 billion for teachers, we disagree.”

Odinga stated that the published budget for the government wage bill in the current financial year is Ksh 329 billion out of a recurrent budget of 987 billion and total budget of 1.88 trillion translating to 33 per cent as recurrent expenditure, 26 per cent as revenue and 17.5 per cent as the total budget.

“Even if we add county governments and parastatal, the figures tell a different story from what jubilee is telling the public.”