NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 18 – The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has warned that it will disrupt the opening of schools in September unless the government starts negotiations on a 300 percent pay increase for teachers and fulfils a deal reached in 1997.
Deputy Secretary General Savior Nyamu who spoke to journalists at the KNUT headquarters on Wednesday said that the government has until the end of August to act.
“We want the payslip of a teacher in August to show his pay and a house allowance that is 50 percent of his salary. We are also telling teachers to be prepared, that we are ringing a bell and when schools open in September. We will use our machinery to ensure that we are not misused,” said Nyamu.
According to the 1997 deal, teachers should by now have received various allowances including house allowances (50 percent of basic pay), medical allowance of 30 percent, and commuter allowance of 10 percent and 30 percent allowance for areas gazetted as hardship zones.
KNUT chairman Wilson Sosion said that the government had the obligation of implementing signed agreements.
Sosion affirmed that the salary increment as part of a new scheme of service was justifiable as the country’s economy has continued to grow.
“The moral obligation of the government is to respect the law and honour agreements. In three years the GDP has grown four-fold and the government cannot shut its eyes to this genuine need; this is all provocation!” said Sosion.
In February, KNUT proposed a new scheme of service for head teachers in which the heads of both primary and secondary schools would receive a responsibility allowance equal to half their basic salary.
Deputy head teachers and heads of departments are projected to pocket 40 and 30 percent in responsibility allowances respectively.
A 50 percent special allowance was also proposed for all teachers who attend to students with special needs.
Elsewhere the Kenya Union of Post Primary Teachers (KUPPET) also announced that all the secondary and college teachers countrywide are also set to go on strike in September if the government fails to award them a 100 percent pay increment citing inflation.
KUPPET National Assistant Treasurer Ronard Tunai who spoke in Meru Town urged parents with students in secondary schools and colleges not to pay the third term school fees since teachers would paralyse all learning activities if their demands are not met.
“The new Constitution is against any form of discrimination and the government should harmonise salary for all the civil servants unless it wants to tell us it is composed of two governments with one being for the public while the other is for the teachers,” said Tunai.