The support staffs of St Mary’s School for the deaf in Nyangoma Division Bondo Sub County have downed their tools over unpaid salary arrears dating back to March 2021.
The angry employees who held demonstrations that paralyzed learning at the institution said that they will not go back to work until their 14-month salary arrears, running into millions, is fully settled.
The support staffs who include cooks, security personnel, grounds men and matrons say the institution owes them a total of Sh 3.4 million and the school management has been taking them in circles over the unpaid salaries.
Led by George Orawo, the employees numbering more than 20 said they are unable to meet their financial obligations because of the unpaid salaries and their families have suffered as they cannot provide food or pay fees for their own children.
They appealed to the ministry of education to intervene on the mater accusing the school administration of prioritizing other projects at the school over their salaries whenever the government sends money each term.
The school head teacher Mr Joseph Omonyin confirmed that there are salary arrears owed to the support staff saying that he is only nine months old at the institution adding that he inherited the arrears form his predecessors.
Omonyin said that they rely on funding from the government and fees paid by parents to pay the workers but the money has not yet been received from the government this term and fee payment by parents has remained too low.
“The parents in this school have fee arrears of over Sh 2 million and the ministry of education has not yet sent any money to the school this term. This makes it difficult for us to run the institution let alone pay the workers,” Omonyin said.
He on the other had disagreed with workers on the 14 months’ arrears owed disclosing that the school Board of Management (BoM) had passed that the workers would not be paid salaries for the months that the schools were closed across the country due to Covid 19.
“I know there are arrears but the demand of workers of 14 months’ salary is untrue. According to the BoM they will not be paid for months that they were not in school due to corona outbreak,” Omonyin said.
He however called on patience among the workers and appealed to them to return to work as the board looks into the matter to have their salaries paid.