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Fresh Push by Teachers for Salary Increment Begins

Demands by KUPPET

Through the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET), the teachers are demanding a pay increment of up to 70 percent. They are also pushing for the promotion of 90,000 tutors who have remained in their current job groups for nearly 20 years.

The most affected as far as promotions are concerned are headteachers in primary schools, their deputies, and the departmental heads. For many years, 30,000 of them haven’t received promotions. Some of these teachers have since acquired higher academic qualifications that have never been acknowledged by the TSC. For the government to promote primary and secondary school teachers, it will need Kshs.8 billion.

The information passed to the TSC by KUPPET reveals that the minimum increment that teachers will accept is 30 percent going by the new CBA of 2021-2025.

What Teachers Will Earn if TSC Gives In

If TSC gives in to these new demands, the lowest-paid teacher’s salary will grow from the current Kshs.21,756 to Kshs. 36,985. According to KUPPET, teachers in Job group D4, currently earning Kshs.118,242, should get a take-home salary of Kshs.153,714.

The union is also fighting for a house allowance for teachers stationed in all regions of the country, ranging between Kshs.6,750 and Kshs.45,000. The proposal to the teachers’ employers also includes a request for additional township allowance of between Kshs.3,500 and Kshs.8,000 for all the county headteachers.

In August 2019, the union, through their secretary-general again cautioned the government against a looming strike. While speaking to the residents of Siaya at Ambrose Adeya Secondary School on August 10, 2019, Sossion told the nation to prepare for the “Mother of All Strikes.” He warned that the government is sitting on a time bomb (for failing to remit deductions made from the teachers’ salaries to the union), and the sooner they remitted the dues, the better. Early August 2019, KNUT had threatened to call for a strike after TSC demoted some teachers which led to the reduction of their salaries.

Recently, teachers requested the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to increase their salaries by thrice within the next two years. They cited the details documented in the 2021-2023 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), which is replacing the 2017-2021 CBA.

For many years, the nation has witnessed push and pull between teachers, through their unions, and the government. It has become almost a yearly occurrence. Once a new year begins, the parents and students hold their breath and hope against all the odds that there won’t be a teachers’ strike, since the consequences are dire. However, deep down, they always know that it will happen, only that they are usually unsure of when the lightning will strike.

Towards the end of 2018, KNUT declared a teachers’ strike in January at the scheduled school reopening date in January 2019. According to the KNUT secretary-general, Wilson Sossion, the downing of tools by teachers aimed at prompting the government to handle the 2018’s unresolved labor issues. The strike wasn’t meant to happen after all. Learning resumed across the nations after the ruling out of the KNUT by the Employment and Labour Relations Court.

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