The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has demanded another meeting with the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to harmonise the rejected pay hike offer.
The meeting between the Teachers Service Commission and teacher’s unions held on Tuesday, June 29, at Safari Park hotel, Nairobi ended in a standoff as both parties could not agree on the promotion of teachers as well as their salary increments.
The KNUT new secretary-general Collins Oyuu says they have given TSC one week to restructure itself before another meeting with the unions.
Oyuu says the offer given to them had no financial gain to the members of the union. He further says KNUT is waking up from a long slumber and they will embrace dialogue as opposed to industrial action on the streets.
The remarks by KNUT come even as the Kenya Union of Pose Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) threatened to down their tools when the schools open for the first term.
“TSC must arrange its house in order and within the next 7 days bring a counter offer which is acceptable,” said KUPPET Secretary General Misori.
Both Unions rejected the announcement by SRC of not effecting any pay rise for any public officers including the teachers. The Unions say the announcement goes against the collective bargaining agreement signed with TSC.
KUPPET Secretary General Akelo Misori, said the proposed deal by TSC did not include any financial gains – which he claimed to be among the teachers’ major grievances.
He also accused the commission of using the Covid-19 pandemic as grounds to reject teachers’ salary increments.
“KUPPET is reluctant to entertain a CBA with no monetary benefits,” stated Misori.
In a quick rejoinder, TSC urged teachers to accept the offer, citing the economic situation brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. TSC CEO Nancy Macharia said they put on the table what was available.
She also implored the unions to consider that teachers last year received full salaries even while at home, as opposed to other sectors which downsized or subjected their employees to salary cuts.
“We can’t give what we don’t have,” she said. KNUT’s proposal was 200 per cent while KUPPET had proposed 30-70 per cent salary increment.
SRC promised to address the stagnation of teachers at job group L (C3) for nearly 20 years with diploma holders being the most affected. “Disparities in pay for workers with similar qualifications, skills, and incomparable occupations, contradict the principles of equal pay for work of equal value,” stated SRC.
KUPPET and KNUT rejected the CBA recommendations by the teachers’ employer. In 2020, the union submitted a new CBA to TSC which KNUT demanded a pay rise of between 120 – 200 per cent as KUPPETsought a 30 to 70 per cent pay rise.
Early this month, SRC chairperson Lyn Mengich announced that they were still on with the CBA negotiation process and that her commission was looking into submissions made by the TSC regarding teachers’ proposals on salary review.
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