The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) intern teachers are expressing their concerns about recent deductions from their salaries by their employer through the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).
The deductions, including housing fund contributions for July arrears, have strained many intern teachers financially.
This marks the second instance where intern teachers have had additional deductions without any corresponding increase in their pay.
In July this year, their salaries were reduced by Ksh. 360 was allocated to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF). Their recent payslip sees a 1.5% deduction from their total stipends, earmarked for the housing fund.
For primary intern teachers, who usually receive a monthly stipend of Ksh. 15,000, these deductions leave them with approximately Ksh. 14,000 in hand. Those in junior secondary positions, with a monthly stipend of Ksh. 20,000, typically end up with around Ksh—18,000 after these deductions.
In the latest payment, primary intern teachers have received just Ksh. 12,570, while their junior secondary counterparts have received Ksh. 17,570. These amounts fall significantly below what they are accustomed to earning.
This latest development may discourage more teachers from considering internships in the future, mainly due to the meager pay that does not align with the prevailing inflation and cost of living.
Many teachers have been avoiding internships altogether because of the low compensation. Instead, most opt for Board of Management (BOM) positions, particularly in schools offering better pay and greater welfare support.
While their colleagues on permanent contracts secured favorable pay adjustments, intern teachers missed out on similar salary reviews.
The commission has already initiated the placement of 20,000 newly recruited teacher interns to schools. Of this number, 18,000 will be assigned to junior secondary schools, while the remaining 2,000 will be deployed to primary schools to assist with implementing the new curriculum.
Teacher unions, including Knut, Kuppet, and Kusnet, could not shield intern teachers from these additional deductions. They also fell short of securing a revision of the interns’ stipends during negotiations.