Knut demands 60pc payrise for teachers

Thursday, July 21st, 2022 06:15 | By
KNUT Secretary-General Collins Oyuu (left) addresses the press alongside National Chairman Patrick Karinga (right) at the union’s headquarters in Nairobi, yesterday. PD/Alex Mburu

Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) is demanding that a 60 per cent pay rise be awarded to tutors immediately.

Knut Secretary-General, Collins Oyuu yesterday said that the economic situation is extremely harsh on everyone including the teachers and they need to be cushioned.

“This time round, we put it squarely and barely that teachers have an irreducible minimum demand that the 2021-2025 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) be reviewed to earn teachers’ money. Teachers want money and not stories,” said Oyuu during a press conference at Knut Headquarters in Nairobi.

“We have commenced a structured negotiation with the employer to see to it that the 60 per cent salary rise is awarded to teachers,” he added.

The Secretary General said that last year, they signed the CBA when they had just assumed office after a long and protracted period of both internal and external turmoil.

He admitted that they signed a pact in the CBA that had many human resource aspects ranging from introduction of paternity leave to extension of maternity leave.

The union, he further said, recognizes the fact that the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) performed a job evaluation and established that teachers are professionals performing designated and specific tasks, but are the lowest earners in the job market presently.

He also made reference to the 12 per cent announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta during the Labour Day celebrations saying that this indicated that the economy is recovering from Covid-19 and now  workers’ salaries can be reviewed.

Strained relationship

Oyuu made the remarks even as he lauded the progress between the union and Teachers Service Commission (TSC) saying that the strained relationship that existed between then has been addressed.

He said that Knut and TSC met for three days, where they discussed issues affecting teachers over 10 challenges that have been facing teachers over the years.

Also during the meeting between the two parties, Oyuu said that the Teacher Professional Development (TPD) issue was addressed.

As much as they both agreed that TPD is by law established, Oyuu however said that TSC did not invest in sensitizing teachers on its need, usefulness and benefits.

He added that the union is seeking to have the TPD programme funded by the Government, noting that the teachers are already strained financially. He said that the union, in its intervention, canvassed to have the National Assembly appropriate Sh4.5 billion for the purpose of purchasing modules in these trainings and was availed.

Although TSC is seeking funds for this purpose, Oyuu urged teachers capable of enrolling to do so since it is a regulatory requirement and should be supported by both parties to ensure it succeeds.

On promotion, Oyuu said that the policy must be reviewed to accommodate, motivate and encourage teachers with higher academic qualifications in the profession.

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