The Kenya National Union of Teachers, or as they’re fondly known, Knut, has decided to shake things up. They’ve slapped a 14-day ultimatum on the teachers’ employer, demanding a meeting to revisit the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) they signed back in 2021.
Now, what’s got Knut all riled up? Well, it’s the good ol’ issue of money. You see, the rising cost of living has been giving them a hard time, and they want the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to take that into account and give their salaries a little boost.
You know, it’s not easy being a teacher these days. They’ve been eagerly awaiting their July payslips, hoping for a shiny pay raise of 7%. That’s no small chunk of change! But Mr. Collins Oyuu, the Secretary-General of Knut, thinks it’s not enough. He argues that with the Finance Act 2023 raising the cost of living, they need a more substantial increase to keep up.
Knut isn’t just focused on the money, though. They also want the TSC to consider the non-monetary aspects of the CBA. They feel that their salaries have taken a hit due to increased deductions and new levies, like that “affordable” housing tax. I mean, let’s be real, is anything really affordable these days?
In a congratulatory tone, Mr. Oyuu gave props to the TSC for launching their shiny new 2023-2027 strategic plan. But, he made it clear that the 70 billion shillings allocated for the plan shouldn’t just go to other areas while teachers’ salaries remain neglected. Knut wants a seat at the table to make sure their hardworking educators get their fair share.
Apparently, there was a proposal from the TSC for a 2 billion shilling allowance for teachers. Not too shabby, right? Unfortunately, the National Treasury decided to play the budget-cutting game and slashed it down to 1 billion. Knut, however, is not giving up. They want the TSC to get back in the negotiating game and reopen discussions.
Now, here’s an interesting tidbit: In 2021, the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) put a monetary negotiation ban on Knut which has since been lifted, Knut sees this as their golden opportunity to jump right back into the game. They’ve sent a letter to the TSC, giving them a 14-day countdown to bring them to the negotiation table. Let’s hope they can spice up that non-monetary CBA they signed a couple of years ago.
Mr. Oyuu believes that a well-paid teacher is an effective teacher. It’s hard to argue with that logic, right? So, if the government wants top-notch performance, they better be ready to reopen the salary discussions they missed out on last time.
Seems like the teachers aren’t the only ones clamoring for a piece of the pie. The Dock Workers Union (DWU) also wants a salary bump to support President William Ruto’s housing plan. They’re not willing to jump on board with those housing levy deductions unless their paychecks get a sweet boost. I guess everyone wants their fair share these days!