Differences have emerged between the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) and the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) officials regarding the proposed salary increment put forth by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).
At the heart of the dispute lie the specifics of a collective bargaining agreement formulated by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), which seeks to implement a 2.4 percent salary raise for teachers with the lowest earnings.
The TSC’s proposal also suggests a 9.5 percent increment for teachers with the highest salaries, to be implemented two years prior to the discussion of another Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Under the Commission’s proposal, teachers could expect a pay increase ranging between Ksh1,076 and Ksh3,000.
Conversely, SRC, under the leadership of its chairperson Lyn Mengich, has extended an offer of a 7 to 10 percent raise. Nonetheless, KUPPET has rejected these offers, arguing that they fall short of meeting the needs of its members.
During negotiations held on Tuesday, August 22, regarding the teacher salary review, KUPPET demanded a 30 percent salary increase for all teachers. The rationale behind this demand was to provide teachers with a buffer against the escalating cost of living.
KUPPET also emphasized that the government had granted more substantial salary increases to other civil servants, including doctors and nurses.
Speaking to the media, Akello Misori, the Secretary General of KUPPET, criticized KNUT for accepting an offer that he claimed amounted to a betrayal of the teaching community, as the TSC’s proposal remained unclear.
“We are not being told the truth about the salary increment because the proposal that SRC tabled is completely different from what TSC offered. At the same time, the President has been talking about a different offer all together. It is hard to negotiate with people who treat us with contempt and bad faith,” he lamented.
In a separate meeting, however, KNUT, initially requesting a raise of over 60 percent, reversed its stance after discussions with officials from TSC and reluctantly agreed to the offer.
KNUT SG Collins Oyuu, contended that TSC had acknowledged the difficulties faced by teachers. Nevertheless, the commission cited financial constraints as the reason for being unable to implement higher salary adjustments.
The 2.4 per cent to 9.5 per cent is welcomed by the Kenya National Union of Teachers. There is nothing that has been reduced since the 2.4 per cent will be going to the highest earner and 9.5 per cent to the lowest earner,” Oyuu clarified.