The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) demanded a salary review for its members on Sunday, July 9, and given the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) 14 days to convene negotiations.
According to KNUT Secretary-General Collins Oyuu, teachers are suffering a significant financial difficulty due to the rising cost of living. He stated that existing remuneration do not reflect the amount of labour that teachers do.
As a result, the SG advocated for a pay rise for all teachers, as well as a review of additional benefits such as housing allowances and medical cover.
“The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) stopped us from negotiating anything monetary in 2021. But since SRC has lifted the caveat on negotiation, we have written to the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to bring us to the table so that we may review our current salaries,” Oyuu stated.
The SG stated that the current status of the economy, particularly the surging inflation rate of 8%, has an impact on KNUT members.
“We must review the non-monetary Collective Bargain Agreement (CBA) which we signed in 2021. We cannot forget that the economic situation in this country is so biting,” he demanded.
He also stated that teachers should be cushioned based on a non-monetary CBA that reflects actual financial demands in order to assist them cope with increased living costs.
The demand for a pay increase came at a time when the administration was facing financial difficulties. However, Oyuu stated that the government should focus the wellbeing of teachers because they are the educational system’s backbone.
TSC’s 14-day deadline to convene talks expires on July 25. If TSC does not answer by that time, KNUT has stated that it will take more steps, including strike action.
TSC had not yet reacted to the demands of KNUT. However, on Thursday, July 6, the commission indicated that it was dedicated to ensuring that instructors are adequately compensated.
The demand for a pay increase is the latest in a string of teacher demonstrations in Kenya. Teachers have gone on strike and demonstrated in recent years over a variety of problems, including pay, working conditions, and a lack of advancement prospects.
The government replied to the protests at the time by stating that it was committed to addressing teachers’ concerns. However, the government has claimed that it cannot afford to meet all of the unions’ demands.