Teachers are demanding a 60 per cent salary increase, which they want implemented immediately.
Knut secretary general Collins Oyuu said the high cost of living has pushed for a rethink of teachers’ salaries.
“We have commenced a structured negotiation with the employer to see to it that a 60 per cent salary rise is awarded to teachers,” Oyuu said.
Oyuu spoke during a press conference at Knut head office in Nairobi.
He called for a review of the 2021-25 collective bargaining agreement, which was signed with non-monetary benefits.
“The human resource benefits are both to the teacher, the employer, and everyone in this profession,” Oyuu said.
The 2021-25 CBA had non-monetary benefits including extended paid maternity leave for female teachers and introduced paternity leave for male teachers.
However, Oyuu said it’s high time the Salaries and Remuneration Commission considers increasing teachers salaries.
“The inflation rate at the moment does not allow us to continue having boardroom meetings with our employer. The economic times are extremely harsh,” he said.
Oyuu said these demands formed part of the discussions held between TSC and Knut from July 7 to July 9.
The official promised that the union and TSC have a formidable relationship going forward but said this will not hinder the union from fighting for teachers’ rights.
“This time round we have put it squarely and barely that teachers have an irreducible minimum demand. Teachers want money and not stories,” he said.
Knut also wants TSC to address the issue of payments for the Teachers Professional Development which are footed by the teachers.
Oyuu said TPD is a good idea that will help teachers, but faulted TSC for failing to sensitise teachers about the programme.
“We however discovered that TSC did not invest in sensitising teachers on its need, usefulness, involvement and its benefit, and that’s why it was met with resistance,” he said.
Teachers are supposed to pay Sh6,000 for TPD, which Oyuu said should be catered to by the government.
TPD seeks to help teachers renew their professional certificates every five years.
“The union in its intervention canvassed to have the National Assembly appropriate Sh4.5 billion for the purpose of purchasing modules in TPD, this money was availed,” Oyuu said.
Teachers are required to undertake in-service professional training lasting five years and get their certificates renewed.
The professional development will run for 30 years and has six modules each lasting five years.
“There is more that Knut and the employer can do to secure a budgetary allocation, particularly to fund training for all teachers,” Oyuu said.
On teacher promotion, the union said there is a need to review the policies on the same.
Currently, teachers are promoted based on appraisal mode and not the qualifications achieved.
“No teacher should lose financially out of being transferred or promoted. It is ironic when one is promoted and then they lose some benefits they really worked hard for,” Oyuu said.