The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has refuted claims that teachers in the country are preparing to strike in order to demand a salary increase.
According to KNUT Secretary General Collins Oyuu, their objective is to advocate for a revision of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for the period of 2021-2025.
“I have not issued any strike notice. Instead, I notified TSC to arrange a meeting with KNUT to address the clause concerning the review of the CBA for 2021-2025,” he clarified.
Oyuu announced that, following their 14-day notice to TSC, they have received a positive response from the teachers’ employer.
“We have received a written response from the TSC, indicating their commitment to convene a meeting promptly and address the pressing issues,” he stated.
Speaking at a press conference in Kisumu after attending the Kisumu KNUT branch Annual General Meeting, Oyuu reassured teachers who are members of the union that they would exert maximum effort to resolve their concerns.
Oyuu explained that the 2021-2025 CBA they had signed with the TSC lacked a financial component, and thus a review was necessary to incorporate monetary aspects.
“The CBA includes a clause that allows the parties involved to review the agreement they had signed. Some teachers ridiculed us, claiming that we had signed a maternity CBA,” he remarked.
The Secretary General emphasized that the two-year restriction imposed by the Salary and Remuneration Commission (SRC) had now expired, granting them the legal right to review the agreement they had previously signed.
During the review, Oyuu stated that they would also consider non-monetary aspects of the CBA.
KNUT has established conditions for the salary review discussions and will demand a salary increase to offset the proposed Housing Levy deductions.
This pay raise would protect teachers from the impending 3% deductions.
Earlier Oyuu commended TSC for introducing the strategic plan for 2023-2027, which will require a budget of Ksh 70 billion for implementation.
Oyuu mentioned that KNUT was prepared to engage with the TSC in order to ensure that teacher remuneration is also addressed within the strategic plan.
Previously, TSC had proposed Ksh 2 billion for teacher promotions, a move that was welcomed by stakeholders. However, the national treasury later reduced the amount to Ksh 1 billion.
“We still urge the TSC to engage with us and create an opportunity for further negotiations. The Salaries and Remuneration Commission prevented us from discussing monetary matters in 2021, but now that the restriction has been lifted, we have reached out to the TSC and given them a 14-day deadline to initiate discussions and review the non-monetary CBA signed in 2021,” Oyuu stated.