Teachers have now threatened to down their tools following the failure by their employer to honour their Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), a move that risks jeopardizing national examinations scheduled for March.
The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) on Wednesday, February 23 issued a strike notice after their demand for fresh salary negotiations failed to take off.
The teachers representative argued that the seven-day strike notice will be implemented after the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) refused to reopen talks on their 2021-2025 CBA.
KUPPET Secretary-General Akello Misori stated that the union had written to TSC on January 17 demanding the re-opening of the CBA within 21 days.
Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) Secretary-General Akelo Misori speaks to the media in Nairobi on January 15, 2020.
“Upon the expiry of the 21 days, the union said it would review the commission’s response before convening its organs to give further directions on the next course of action,” Misori stated
He added, “all the commission has done is to acknowledge our letter and promise to respond at a later stage after ‘interrogating’ the contents.”
The KUPPET Secretary General added that failure by TSC to engage them has forced them to call for mass action.
In the CBA, the union had proposed a 30 per cent to 70 per cent raise to all teachers in the country.
“In the absence of a clear-cut commitment to re-open the talks, we have no idea how long the interrogation might take and our members do not have the patience to wait any longer for a salary review,” he remarked.
The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) signed a non-monetary CBA with TSC, a move that sparked uproar from teachers. The union led by Secretary-General Collins Oyuu initiated talks to resolve the standoff.
KUPPET in their proposal demanded commuter allowance of teachers raised to Ksh8,000 from Ksh5,000 and salary for the lowest paid teacher to be raised from Ksh16,000 to Ksh20,8000.
But the CBA has not been honoured after talks with TSC failed to kick off.
The strike unless averted will begin just days before the start of the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations.
KCPE exams are set to begin from March 7 to 10 paving way for KCSE which is scheduled to start from March 11.