NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 14 – The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has remained adamant that it will not budge on its demand that the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) sign a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with teachers following a court ruling that awarded them a pay increase of between 50 and 60 percent.
In a statement Secretary General Wilson Sossion stated that the union will honor the ruling that gave them 30 days to conclude a CBA with TSC on basic salaries but pointed out that should the period elapse without any tangible results, they shall go on strike.
Sossion further stated that they will not discuss a CBA on any other matter before the issue on basic salary is fully addressed.
“We trust that the Commission shall accordingly be advised and noting that the timelines earlier given lapsed, we are still open and in any event within the Thirty (30) days to engage with a view to concluding and registering the Collective Bargaining Agreement failure of which the Teachers shall promptly resort to Industrial action to defend the given justly and fairly by the Court,” he stated.
TSC lodged an appeal against the judgment and stated in a letter to the union that it will be unable to conclude a CBA incorporating an award of basic salary.
“As we already indicated, it will be an unfortunate situation for the Education Sector to be paralyzed again for the umpteen time on the expiration of Thirty (30) days of the Judgment which, going by your letter and Public pronouncement previously made is the only available option,” session stated.
He said the union shall do everything in its power to ensure that teachers are not short changed.
“We shall not relent in our fight to ensure that Teaching is made an attractive and first choice profession and to improve the status of teachers, in particular their Salaries, working conditions and Career opportunities,” he indicated.
“It is only when the Government shall give the attention the Education Sector deserves that aspirations encompassed in the affirmation that Education is a Public good, a fundamental human right and a basis for guaranteeing the realization of other rights and by extension other sustainable development, shall be achieved.”
He stressed that it would be unfortunate if the education sector is paralysed again as a result of non-compliance with the court’s decision.
“As we already indicated, it will be an unfortunate situation for the Education Sector to be paralyzed again for the umpteen time on the expiration of Thirty (30) days of the Judgment which, going by your letter and Public pronouncement previously made is the only available option,” he said.
In its letter dated ref. No. TSC/LS/02/2015 dated 7th July 2015, TSC stated that it is not able to complete a CBA with the teachers as a result of the Appeal it had lodged against the Employment and Labour Relations court ruling.
It however stated that it was willing to discuss a CBA on any other matter affecting teachers.