The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) Secretary General Akelo Misori has now been asked by teachers to explain why the government through the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has deducted from their July salaries a total of Ksh.360 as National Social Security Fund (NSSF).
In a letter dated July 27, 2023 to Misori, KUPPET Vihiga Executive Secretary Sabala Inyeni has decried that the deductions has come at a time when the teachers were eagerly waiting for the 7 to 10 per cent salary increment in their basic salary as earlier on directed by President William Ruto.
Sabala states the Public Service Superannuation Scheme (PSSS) had an impact on the teachers’ ability to access credit facilities as well as their disposable income, and that the new deduction of NSSF further causes a dent on their payslips and has ripple effect on repayment of loans and insurance policies the teachers are currently servicing.
The KEPPET Vihiga branch boss now states that with the failure by the employer to effect the 7 to 10 per cent increase this month, whose sole purpose was to cushion teachers from the impact of numerous deductions has left teachers feeling exposed, abandoned and out rightly demoralized.
“We have learnt that all our members have suffered an NSSF deduction, to the tune of Ksh.360…with the fears that this Housing Levy in the infamous Finance Bill 2023 may find its way on the same slip and NHIF (National Health Insurance Fund) deductions increased, this causes distress and devastation among our members,” said Sabala.
He added: “Coupled with a lack of a monetary CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) for the 2021-2025 period and job grade stagnation to a huge junk of our members, this country risks having a hugely dissatisfied work force that is key to running the critical sector of education in our country.”
The unionist has now raised a number of issues which he wants Misori to urgently address in order to help the branch guide its members appropriately on the next course of action, individually and collectively.
They include to seek a clarification from Misori on the necessity of the NSSF deduction in the face of the PSSS which came into effect in 2021, and which effectively replaced the NSSF deduction for teachers with specific reference to Circular reference number OP/CAB.1/8A section 1c (iv) which was dated November 20, 2020; confirm whether he was notified of another Circular reference number MPSG&AA.6 dated July 7, 2023 which appears to contradict the earlier circular.
Find out the exact steps Misori is taking in addressing the unexpected deduction which has affected their members who are teachers adversely, and further seek assurance on his efforts to stop any further unauthorized deductions on their members’ payslips in future, considering that this is not the first time teachers are suffering erroneous deductions on the payslips in the recent past.
“Let it be on record that our members do not appreciate these numerous saving schemes by the government, purporting to provide a better retirement package while subjecting them to untold suffering during their period of service,” reiterated Sabala.
The Scheme covers Civil Servants, Teachers employed by the Teachers Service Commission, and Disciplined Services (National Police Service, Prisons Service and National Youth Service).
Teachers already contribute to the scheme at the rate of 7.5 per cent of their monthly basic salary while, with the scheme having an option of employees making additional voluntary contributions to the scheme above the mandatory 7.5 per cent of the basic salary.
According to the new NSSF rates whose implementation started in February this year, the Upper Earning Limit (UEL) is Ksh.18, 000 while the Lower Earnings Limit (LEL) is Ksh.6,000; with the pension contribution being 12 per cent of the pensionable wages made up of two equal portions of 6 per cent from the employee and 6 per cent from the employer subject to an upper limit of Ksh.2, 160 for employees earning above Ksh.18,000. The previous contributions rate was Ksh.200.
Teachers are also expected to pay more in their NHIF contribution since TSC has been making deductions on their payslips, when the 2.75 per cent of their gross monthly salary will come into effect. At the same time, they are also having a health insurance cover with Minet Kenya.
By Roy Hezron
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