, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 31 – The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) says tutors are justified to demand a 300 percent salary increment in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) due to the high cost of living.
Speaking during a conference on Special Needs Education on Wednesday, KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion indicated that the union did an analysis and the increment would be enough to cater for the basic needs of teachers.
Sossion further pointed out that the monies should be awarded gradually and are calculated on minimum basic salaries and generally maintained as salaries move towards the maximum levels.
“The justification of a proposal of between 200 to 300 percent is based on cumulated inflation over the number of years which brings it to 256 percent looking at change in price indices of goods, consumer price indices and we have done a thorough economic analysis,” he indicated.
He stated that the changes are built on the last phase of 2009 awards backdated to 2011.
“We went through a terrible period of industrial acrimony last year and the school system lost a cumulative total of eight weeks. I do not think that the government is ready to see any disruption and you know too well that the president has given a directive that we clear this by October and we appreciate the directive by the President,” he stated.
President Uhuru Kenyatta had called on the Teachers Service Commission to sign a new CBA with the teachers’ unions by October.
“That is the Executive directive from government and so the implementing authorities should do their business. For us we deal with TSC in accordance with the law,” Sossion stated.
“That is our employer so we are asking the employer that today is August 31 and they have exactly two months to clear with us so that we have a CBA in place and teachers should continue enjoying their benefits,” he said.
He urged the TSC to look at the proposals seriously and to negotiate with the union in a spirit of reconciliation.
“We have invested a lot of recommendations in the salary component, this time round the employer will not escape offering that and of course, we have looked at the other aspects of allowances so that teaching in Kenya can be a respected profession and we can attract and retain quality teachers,” he said.
Sossion further stated that teachers would walk away from the negotiations if the commission imposes a bad deal.
The new salary demands would see the lowest paid teacher earning Sh50,016 up from Sh21,304.