Teachers union optimistic after talks with TSC

September 30, 2014 3:41 pm
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KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion told Capital FM News that the meeting was, "good," and that negotiations would continue on October 7/FILE
KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion told Capital FM News that the meeting was, “good,” and that negotiations would continue on October 7/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 30 – The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has reported that the meeting they held with the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) on Tuesday bodes well for uninterrupted learning in public schools.

KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion told Capital FM News that the meeting was, “good,” and that negotiations would continue on October 7.

The union’s chairman Mudzo Nzili expressed the same sentiments saying the commission had demonstrated good will.

But he declined to divulge details of the negotiations expressing concern that such an indiscretion might sabotage the negotiations.

“We are carrying out the collective bargaining in good faith and taking a hard line position at this time could jeopardise that,” he explained.

But he did say that they were committed to securing improved salaries for public school teachers, “because teachers also have stomachs and they too must eat.”

The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teacher (KUPPET) was however not as pleased with the talks. Their chairman Omboko Milemba accused the commission of bringing, “nothing new,” to the table despite a similar meeting held on September 11 being adjourned to give the government time to consult with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) among other stakeholders.

“So we’ve given them one more week to go and come back with something tangible,” he said.

When they walked out of the September 11 meeting, KNUT had threatened to make good on their strike threat should the TSC fail to have a concrete proposal ready for them on Tuesday.

“There are three levels of mischief – to use briefcase unions to distract us from negotiating; they will still use the TSC to attempt to delay and then the last hurdle we know they will use the SRC to further delay. If that is what they are setting for us, then ladies and gentlemen we promise you a strike that has never been seen in this country,” Sossion had threatened.

KNUT had demanded a 300 percent increase in salaries and increased allowances while KUPPET, even after Tuesday’s talks, still insists on a 200 percent increase, leave allowance, risk allowance and a housing allowance that is at least half their salaries.

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