NAIROBI, October 6 – Primary school head teachers have joined in the call for the harmonisation of the teacher’s salaries with those of other civil servants.
Meeting in Mombasa for their Annual General Delegates Conference, the over 5,000 teachers maintained that the government “must harmonise their salaries with the rest of the civil servants since they are all in the same job categories.” Kenya Primary Schools Head Teachers Association [KEPSHA] Chairman Joseph Karuga led the teachers in their demand.
The teachers are expected to emphasise this to Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka when he officially opens the conference on Tuesday.
The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers [KUPPET] which has been championing the harmonisation called off their planned strike on Friday to allow for smooth examinations which begin in the next two weeks, as it engages the government on the issue.
The government which has shown commitment to the issue has however ruled out negotiations with KUPPET since its membership of 23 percent is way below the 51 percent recognised by law.
Secretary General Njeru Kanyamba said that the union would in the next three months embark on a national recruitment drive to meet the membership requirement. The two are expected to face it off in the industrial court next week over the matter.
The Kenya Secondary Schools Head Teachers Association [KESSHA] started the debate of the remuneration in their conference earlier in the year.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Education Minister Sam Ongeri who were present expressed commitment to the review then. Ongeri has since said that the proposals of the salary review is been addressed by the Teacher Service Remuneration Committee.
Already the giant Kenya National Union of Teachers, which is represented in the committee, has threatened to boycott if the progress of the talks fails to satisfy them.
Mr Karuga said that this year’s conference would deliberate on the ways to improve quality of education in the country. He said that the theme of the conference is healing, reconciliation and peace building through education after the post election violence that rocked the country.
The Chairman asked teachers to be part of the healing process since they are the ones at the grass root level. Mr Karuga asked head teachers during the conference to focus exhaustively in helping defining future policy in government in search for long lasting unity.