, NAIROBI, Kenya, No 11 – President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday met officials of the Kenya Union of Post Primary Teachers (KUPPET), who agreed to return to negotiations on a Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The meeting – which comes a day after a similar one with officials of the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) – agreed that the teachers’ union should hold negotiations with the Teachers Service Commission in a peaceful and amicable environment to resolve the issues of teachers’ welfare.
“We have agreed that both parties need to come to the table and negotiate in a peaceful environment with the objective of ensuring that we look after the welfare of our children as we once again bring harmony to the education sector,” President Kenyatta said.
He expressed optimism that negotiations between KUPPET and TSC will come up with a lasting solution to the perennial teachers’ strikes.
“I have had a fruitful discussion with the leadership of KUPPET today. And I am certain that within this month, as they go into discussions with TSC, we will get results that will enable all of us, as Kenyans, to work together for the interest of the children of this country,” President Kenyatta said.
KUPPET Chairman Omboko Milemba emphasised that it was important to move the negotiations forward for the interest of the Kenyan child.
“We welcome the President’s initiative to deal with these matters in a comprehensive way,” Milema said.
KUPPET Deputy Secretary General Moses Nthurima thanked President Kenyatta for calling the meeting, saying the teachers’ union has agreed to go back to the negotiation table.
“We are happy that you have returned hope to the teachers of this country,” the Deputy Secretary General said.
He said the meeting also agreed that the plight of teachers who have stagnated in one job group for more than a decade will also be addressed, subject to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission and Treasury approval.
On Tuesday, President Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto met KNUT officials and TSC.
The meeting resolved that TSC should consider paying all teachers their September dues while teachers who were on duty during that month also get an appropriate compensation for their extraneous work.
The Tuesday meeting also recommended that TSC and KNUT begin dialogue to come up with a four-year collective bargaining agreement which will at minimum address key issues touching on the education sector, while recognising the binding advisory role of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) on the salaries and remuneration of teachers.