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The Kenya National Union of Teachers win for a significant pay rise could take a surprise turn if a fresh appeal by the government is granted, cutting short the celebrations by at least 280,000 teachers, depending on the ruling of the Court of Appeal.

The Supreme Court similarly refused to stay orders on grounds that it does not have the jurisdiction to hear the matter unless an appeal case was properly before it.

“We shall definitely challenge this. The decision essentially takes away the right of the defendant to seek an appeal in a higher court on a decision made by the lower court. If this is allowed to continue, then the whole purpose of having an appeal in the Court of Appeal would be defeated. How would the government recover in terms of interruptions on its programmes and money spent to cater for teachers’ increments in the meantime should the appeal in the Court of Appeal be successful?” posed a source who sought anonymity. “Besides, the Salaries and Remunerations Commission’s constitutional mandate was bypassed in these negotiations. Basically the point is that the government appeal is active in the Court of Appeal. It has not even been heard. It is like the court telling somebody who has stolen and faked documents of land that belongs to you to continue constructions on that land even if the matter is in court so that should the court’s decision suggest otherwise, he can be asked to demolish.”

“Whereas it may be excusable for your clients’ members to chest thumb and engage in act of public rejoicing, we expect you as counsel to exercise restraint knowing that the judgement you refer to is subject to a merited Appeal,” TSC said in response to demands for pay as had been directed by the lower courts.

Should the Supreme Court rule on the application, then the legal duel between the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and the the teachers unions may be far from over.

However, there are two fronts and a major twist to the case filed in the second highest court in the land. There will be a winner and a loser in the case and as such the increased pay might be grounded or the court will order that the same should continue.

A salary comparative analysis shows that teachers are already earning slightly higher than other public servants in the same job groups. The increment as directed by the courts is likely to attract protests from other civil servants. 

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