The scheme, touted to be a better package comparedto what teachers in the private sector have, is giving an inpatient cover of between Sh300,000 for the lowest-earning teacher and Sh1 million for the highest earning.
But this might not be realised after the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers ( Kuppet) opposed deductions on teachers? pay slips to finance the medical scheme to be provided by AoN Minet.
Kuppet, in a letter to the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), said their members cannot afford to forfeit their monthly medical allowance and at the same time pay the new rates to the National Hospital Insurance Fund ( NHIF).
?Take note that you already effected deductions on statutory deductions in respect to NHIF enhanced scheme last month to the shock of the teachers earnings. Any further move towards another deduction towards a medical scheme must be subjected to thorough consultations,? Kuppet Secretary General Akelo Misori wrote.
In the letter dated May 19 and addressed to TSC Secretary Gabriel Lengoiboni, Kuppet said any further deductions will go against the one-third rule on civil servants salary deductions.
However, Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Secretary General Wilson Sossion yesterday said the teachers medical scheme was carefully negotiated over a period of time and must be rolled out in July 1 as planned.
?This is teachers? money and they must get the best medical cover. The cover negotiated by TSC is the best and let me caution against any attempt to short-change the teachers,? Mr Sossion said.
TSC plans to commit teachers? monthly medical allowance to create a pool of good financial base to roll out a medical scheme.
Teachers currently get between Sh900 and Sh4,000 on monthly medical allowance. Sossion said it is wrong for ?some people at TSC to purport to speak for teachers when they saw the process through every stage and never even moved to court to challenge the tender award?.
?We know what is happening at TSC and we shall expose them. Petty boardroom politics will not help teachers. Tell them, teachers are watching,? he said.
Kuppet Chairman Omboko Milemba yesterday said any deductions that have been effected towards the TSC medical scheme should be refunded.
?Do not take teachers medical allowance to actualise another medical cover before we clear off with NHIF, otherwise you will be dealing with teachers who are earning nothing and this will affect teaching,? said Mr Milemba.
Kuppet said the union shall not watch as various actors scramble for teachers thin pay slips in a hurry for selfish intentions and satisfactions. The management of TSC medical cover was awarded to AoN Minet.
TSC commissioners have given the medical scheme a clean bill of health, saying that the contract has already been signed. Other than the inpatient, the scheme has an optical cover fixed at a flat rate of Sh10,000 annually.
Maternity cover has been pegged at Sh75,000 annually with a graduated group life cover of between Sh300,000 on the lower cadre to Sh700,000 for the upper group.
The TSC cover has been designed to benefit the principal contributor, their spouse and four children. The Last Expense cover (funeral cover) is set at Sh100,000. NHIF management has claimed that their medical scheme is superior to the one proposed by TSC. NHIF Chief Executive Officer Simon ole Kirgotty said their medical scheme has an in-patient cover of up to Sh2 million.
?Our maternity cover has no limit. Out patient cover is more favourable to lower cadres who shall get treatment without any limit,? he said.
Mr Kirgotty said emergency evacuation and enhanced group life and last expense covers are also provided. Federation of Kenya Employees, Central Organisation of Trade Unions and the two teachers? unions have united in demanding that NHIF deductions be based on basic pay as opposed to gross pay.
Kirgotty yesterday said the NHIF Act would be amended to allow deductions to be based on basic pay.
?We are not averse to the demands of Kenyans. We shall see how the NHIF Act shall be amended,? he said.
Section 15 (3) of the NHIF Act, 1998 says: ? A contribution shall be at such rate, depending on the person?s total income, as the board, in consultation with the Minister, may determine.?
By AUGUSTINE ODUOR, The Standard