Jaffery Academy teachers appeal against ruling okaying pay cut

Wednesday, October 21st, 2020 00:00 |
Jaffery Academy.

Teachers from Jaffery Academy have appealed against a ruling of the Mombasa High Court that upheld a decision by the school’s management to effect a 65 per cent pay cut in their May salaries without consent.

Through lawyer Jane Onyango, the teachers said Justice James Rika erred in his interpretation of Section 10(5) of the Employment Act, and held that the school administration’s action was reasonable.

Further, the teachers argued that the school adjusted the pay cuts to 45 per cent for essential staff,  65 per cent for non-essential staff but failed to disclose the pay cut percentage for the critical employees. 

The teachers have since asked the court to set aside Justice Rika’s judgment and appoint a different judge to hear their petition and a contempt application they claim was never heard by the judge.

Ochieng, in her application, told the court that justice Rika erred in law, and fact and consequently arrived at a wrong decision by holding that the school management’s actions to cut the teachers’ pay were reasonable under the circumstances.

Justice Rika while delivering his judgement, said that the changes in the teachers’ contracts were neither in violation of Article 41 of the Constitution, nor Section 10 [5] of the Employment Act. 

He said that the school had acted reasonably sustaining the 136 employees instead of taking the approach many employers had globally taken by sacking.

Learning process

In addition, he said the teachers ought to be satisfied that they are still in employment, while rendering little or no labour to the institution.

Justice Rika observed that there was indeed no Application for Contempt, transmitted to the undersigned Judge at any time.

“The Deputy Registrar of the Court who transmitted all the other Pleadings and Documents, has at the time of writing this Judgment, confirmed that he did not receive any Application for Contempt,” said Justice Rika.

However,  the teachers said that the judge failed to recognise that there was contempt of court by the institution that failed to follow the orders issued by Justice Rika on June 8, stopping the school from discriminating against the teachers who had filed the suit.

“The learned judge erred in law and fact in finding that the institution did not act in breach of the court orders granted on June 8,” said Ochieng.

The lawyer said Rika had erred in law and fact to expunge an affidavit sworn by the teachers on grounds that it was irregularly on record.

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