MOMBASA, Kenya, Jun 23 — State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu says the Kenya National Union of Teachers has assured President Uhuru Kenyatta that they are, “unlikely,” to call for industrial action in the next four years following the signing of a hard fought Collective Bargaining Agreement on Tuesday.
According to Esipisu, KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion made the projection when he met with the President at State House Mombasa on Wednesday together with their employer the Teachers Service Commission and Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) officials.
“With the signing of the CBA, Kenya has entered into the annals of history as a country that respects the rights of Teachers,” Sossion is quoted as having said at the meeting.
The signing of the CBA was the culmination of a drawn out court battle that cost children in the public school system weeks in learning time at the start of third term in 2015.
The teachers had demanded a pay hike awarded to them by the Labour Relations court after talks with TSC hit a wall.
The decision of the High Court was however later overturned by the Court of Appeal which found that the advice of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission on what to pay teachers could not be ignored by the TSC in negotiations between the teachers’ unions and TSC.
Later at another meeting between the parties, this time at State House Nairobi, President Kenyatta directed them back to the negotiating table with a deadline on when he expected results.
“As you will recall, a few months ago I asked the TSC and the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) to sit together as reasonable people and find a way forward in establishing a harmonious relation in the education sector,” he said on Wednesday.
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And now with a signed CBA on the table covering the years 2013 to 2017, President Kenyatta’s advice was that the previously estranged parties negotiate the next CBA with the 2017/18 budget in mind to keep the probability of the education sector once again being plunged into crisis, “unlikely.”