NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 13 – The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) is outraged after the Teacher Service Commission appealed a court decision awarding teachers a salary increment of between 50 and 60 percent.
Speaking to Capital FM News, National Chairman Mudzo Nzili described it as a disappointment since it was TSC which moved to court in the first place to reach a pay agreement.
He said that the action would leave the teachers with no other option but to go on strike.
“As teachers we are really disappointed by the Teachers Service Commission decision to move to court to appeal the decision to award teachers a salary increment. It shows their insincerity and the fact that they had no intention of addressing our concerns,” he stated.
He accused the commission of insincerity and indicated that its actions were tantamount to an attempt to use the Judiciary to further their own interests.
“In the first place, they were the ones who moved to court thinking that things would go their way. In all fairness, their action is what can be termed as amounting to an attempt to arm-twist the Judiciary to further their agenda by denying teachers their dues,” he said.
“This is not acceptable and as a union, we will not take this lying down. We will continue fighting for our rights and nothing shall stop us because we have been oppressed for too long. If things get worse we may have to call for a National Governing Council meeting where the decision might be to go in strike again so that our concerns may be addressed.”
The court had ruled that a Collective Bargaining Agreement should be signed by the Teachers Service Commission and the Kenya National Union of Teachers within 30 days from the 30th of last month and that the increment be backdated to July 2013 extending to July 2017.
Justice Nduma Nderi had further decreed that the TSC is the only body mandated to undertake a job evaluation of teachers, with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) offering an advisory opinion.
He informed TSC that it had abdicated its core mandate of determining teachers’ salaries as claimed by the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) in their suit papers.
The bitterly contested pay increase for teachers goes back to 1994, when the late Ambrose Adongo was Secretary General of KNUT.
The judgment, settled the long-running pay row the court has been arbitrating since January when parties agreed to the Judiciary’s intervention to end a nationwide teachers’ strike.
The unions had demanded a 300 percent salary raise alongside a raft of allowances which they wanted met before they could call off their strike.
Following many meetings with the government, the unions scaled down their demands to 150 percent and noted that the allowances would come after a salary hike.