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KUPPET Issues 14-Day Ultimatum to TSC to Refund Housing Levy or Face Legal Consequences

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KUPPET Issues 14-Day Ultimatum to TSC to Refund Housing Levy or Face Legal Consequences

The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) is under increasing pressure to reimburse the housing levy deducted from teachers’ salaries, amounting to up to Sh30,000 for the highest-paid teacher since July last year.

On Wednesday, the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) issued a 14-day ultimatum to the TSC, demanding the refund or be prepared to face legal consequences.

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Kuppet accused the TSC of blatant disobedience of court orders, emphasizing that there is no justifiable reason for the commission to withhold teachers’ money without a legal foundation.

Moses Nthurima, the acting secretary-general of Kuppet, stressed that the superior courts have made clear pronouncements on the matter, and the TSC cannot claim ignorance of the orders.

Nthurima asserted, “They can’t claim they don’t know the orders, and for that reason, they have to return the money.”

The union is now threatening legal action against the TSC, emphasizing the need for a complete refund of the deducted money. It has come to light that the February salaries of 406,000 teachers experienced housing levy deductions, despite the levy being declared illegal.

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Last week, TSC CEO Nancy Macharia explained that the January deductions were implemented before the court order. Macharia clarified during a media workshop in Nairobi that the TSC’s payroll is processed on the 20th of every month, and the court ruling on the housing levy occurred on the 26th.

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Kuppet’s demands include a full refund of all housing levy deductions dating back to its initiation in July of the previous year. According to calculations by The Standard, the chief principal, the highest-paid teacher earning a maximum basic salary of Sh131,380, minus allowances, has been experiencing monthly deductions of approximately Sh6,000.

This totals to around Sh30,000 deducted so far. Meanwhile, the lowest-paid teacher, earning about Sh22,793, has been subjected to deductions amounting to approximately Sh5,000.

Nthurima, a representative from Kuppet, expressed dissatisfaction, stating that the government’s actions indicate a blatant disobedience of the law. He demanded the immediate reimbursement of illegal deductions made within 14 days, warning of legal action if not addressed.

Nthurima raised concerns about the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) proceeding with housing levy deductions this month, despite a standing court order against it.

He pointed out that in the previous month, the TSC had acknowledged its intent to refund the deductions in official communication with the union. This, according to Nthurima, demonstrates contempt of court on the part of the TSC’s CEO and commissioners.

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A teacher in job group C3 shared a payslip with The Standard, revealing a deduction of Sh1,114 as a housing levy. The teacher expressed disappointment at the lack of explanations regarding the deductions and uncertainty about their discontinuation.

Nthurima emphasized the independence of the commission, granted by the Constitution, and criticized its alignment with the Executive, calling it a violation of its legal autonomy.

Adding to the context, on February 20, Members of Parliament passed the Housing Bill during the second reading, followed by approval on February 21 during the third reading.

The passage of the Bill saw some opposition MPs leaving the chambers as 141 legislators voted in favor, while 58 opposed it. The Bill is now set for deliberation in the Senate before potential assent into law by the President.

ALSO READ: Teachers to Enroll Up To Eight Children in Multi-Billion Medical Scheme

KUPPET Issues 14-Day Ultimatum to TSC to Refund Housing Levy or Face Legal Consequences

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