Pain for Vihiga ECDE teachers as county withhold their salaries since January

KUNOPPET Vihiga branch Executive Secretary Zipporah Mutuku addressing ECDE teachers and labour officials recently.

A good number of Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) teachers in Vihiga County are currently undergoing hard economic times after the county government failed to pay them since January this year.

It is also feared that a teacher has died with another currently unable to get treatment over what the teachers termed frustration and depression from the county administration’s failure to pay them, and transferring them to far flanked areas within the county and requiring them to report to work with no pay.

According to teachers, things fell apart when they called a strike through their union, Kenya Union of Pre-Primary Education Teachers (KUNOPPET), after their employer who is the County Government of Vihiga failed to address their issues despite presenting a petition to the County early this year and being assured that their issues will be addressed.

However, what has followed is threats and intimidation to the teachers and the branch union leaders since what has remained for the teachers is to choose either to withdraw from the union so that they be paid, or remain in the union and miss their salaries.

KUNOPPET Vihiga branch Executive Secretary Zipporah Mutuku who narrated to Education News the sad story of what the ECDE teachers in the county are currently undergoing under this hard economic times after the county failed to pay them, stated that those teachers who are on contract have missed their salaries since January this year while those on Permanent and Pensionable terms (PnP) have missed their salaries since March this year.


Principals in Kakamega North condemn football hooliganism in school games

“Teachers are really suffering. We have those teachers who are on contract since January they haven’t been paid till to date. Those teachers who are on PnP they have not been paid their salaries since March till to date. As we talk we buried a teacher over the weekend. This teacher was not being paid salary, and died without even getting the gratuity money, the teacher died because was unable to be treated since NHIF was not functional; and the teacher just died like that. We have another teacher currently on dialysis. The teacher has not been paid since January. NHIF is not functioning since January. You see what we are going through? So we don’t know who is the next person to die! And the employer is not even bothered,” narrated Mutuku.

The total number of teachers who are on PnP terms and who have not been paid since March 2024 is 382 while those on contract and who have missed their salaries since January 2024 are 72 totaling 454 teachers who have not been paid their salaries to date, and as disclosed by Mutuku, a section of the teachers who have not been paid their salaries are those who took part in the strike.

“Teachers have been given transfers. As we talk now, some of the teachers have been given transfers to places where they spent up to KSh300 on transport alone daily and that teacher is not being paid since January and this is meant just to frustrate these teachers,” she said.

Mutuku explained further that despite Vihiga County Assembly intervening on this matter and directing the County Executive to pay the teachers their salaries and address the issues they had raised in their petition; nothing has been done so far and the County has remained adamant.

“Instead of implementing the directives given by the County Assembly, they started writing show cause letters to the teachers the following day that is on March 21, 2024 and truly speaking the teachers received those show cause letters. However, our union Secretary General moved to court to block any disciplinary measures to be taken against the teachers,” said Mutuku.

When Education News reached out to Vihiga County Chief Officer for Education Dominic Luvavo, who the teachers mentioned him as the one at the centre of threatening the teachers to leave the union so that they can be paid to share more light on the matter and seek his comment over the same; none of our calls nor messages send to him were answered nor responded by the time this story was being published.

By Hezron Roy

You can also follow our social media pages on Twitter: Education News KE  and Facebook: Education News Newspaper for timely updates.

>>> Click here to stay up-to-date with trending regional stories





Sharing is Caring!
Don`t copy text!