, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 19 – The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) National Executive Council on Thursday endorsed the agreement negotiated by President Uhuru Kenyatta for talks with the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).
The council announced that it would commence negotiations for a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with the TSC, as announced by President Kenyatta, next Wednesday.
KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion who had been in favour of taking their fight for a 50 to 60 percent pay rise to the Supreme Court, changed tune on Thursday following the NEC meeting.
He said that while there may have been a divergence of opinion, he was obligated to back the resolutions passed by the NEC.
“We are a democracy and in a democracy the minority has its say but the majority have their way. It wasn’t personal between us,” he said gesturing at the space between himself and KNUT Chairman Mudzo Nzili. “It wasn’t selfish,” he continued, “we all took the positions we thought would be in the best interest of teachers.”
He however insisted that they were going in for Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations and not, “Collective Begging Agreement,” negotiations.
And before they got down to the business of negotiating, Nzili said, they expected the TSC to honour President Kenyatta’s plea that teachers receive their pay for the month of September when they were on strike and the Union its dues. “What are they still waiting for?” he posed.
TSC Chairperson Lydia Nzomo on Wednesday told Capital FM News that they were still considering President Kenyatta’s call.
“In the spirit of consideration and reconciliation, I urge the Teachers Service Commission to consider paying all the teachers their September salaries and union dues at the earliest opportunity,” President Kenyatta said following the November 11 meet with KNUT and TSC.
He also set a timeline of one month for the negotiations. “Within one month of the start of this dialogue, I expect both parties to come up with an acceptable collective bargaining agreement.”
On Thursday, Sossion said he hoped the CBA would be signed and sealed in time for the December 9 Annual Delegates Conference.