Teachers in Kenya who were previously dismissed from service without receiving their pensions or other gratuities now have the opportunity to lodge complaints again.
The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) has instructed all County Executive Secretaries to compile and submit formal applications on behalf of these teachers.
The claimant must provide certain documents with their application, including a declaration form, employment letter, bank account details, ATM plate copy, National ID copy, and the last payslip.
This development follows a recent judgement from the Employment and Labour Relations Court, which ruled that dismissing teachers from service and denying them their pensions was unconstitutional and violated labour practices and working conditions.
The court termed it “Unconstitutional as it contravenes the clear provisions of Articles 41(1) and 2(b) of the Constitution on fair labour practices and working conditions, Article 40 on the protection of the right to property and Article 43(1)(e) on the right to social security.”
In response to this ruling, KUPPET is urging all dismissed teachers to apply for their pensions and gratuities, as they are entitled to these benefits.
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) previously released newly reviewed service exits/retirements for teachers, outlining the circumstances under which teachers could exit service.
These circumstances include voluntary retirement on the attainment of 50 years and on completion of 10 years of continuous service on Permanent and Pensionable terms, compulsory retirement at age 60, and resignation due to marriage.
Teachers who are dismissed may also be entitled to a lump sum and monthly pension. The government has proposed a public servants superannuation pension scheme, in which both employers and employees contribute to pension benefits.
Those joining the service and those below 45 years are required to join the scheme, while those over 45 years can choose to join.
Employees can transfer pension benefit credits from a former employer to another with a similar pension scheme, and the scheme allows employees to access part of their benefits even before the mandatory retirement age.
“In order to safeguard the teachers’ social security rights, the union wishes to inform all teachers who were dismissed to apply for their pension, with copies served on the union.” Said Misori.
Teachers who join the scheme from non-contributory pension schemes can also have their past benefits transferred to the new scheme
Overall, this development provides dismissed teachers with a renewed opportunity to receive their rightful pensions and gratuities.