The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has issued a stern warning, threatening to orchestrate a boycott of invigilation duties during the upcoming national examinations if delayed payments for past services are not addressed.
Patrick Munuhe, the Chairperson of KNUT, voiced concerns during the union’s annual conference held at Samoei Boys Secondary School in Nandi. He highlighted the distressing predicament faced by teachers who participated in the invigilation of last year’s KCPE, KCSE, and KPSEA exams, as their remuneration was subjected to an extended delay of one whole year.
Munuhe noted that despite KNUT’s concerted efforts, including sending multiple letters to the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC), the government has failed to release the payments in a timely manner. The mounting frustration within the teaching community has led to this ultimatum.
Addressing the looming issue, Munuhe stated that unless concrete measures are taken to ensure that invigilators’ payments are disbursed promptly, teachers will be compelled to abstain from their invigilation duties during the upcoming national examinations, which are just a few months away.
“We have given the examination council two weeks to settle the bills or face the teachers’ wrath. If the bills are not settled the soonest, we are not going to invigilate the national examinations of 2023,” warned Munuhe.
KNUT’s determination to address this issue is palpable, with the union even threatening to mobilize examiners to stage a sit-in at the KNEC office if the pending payments continue to be ignored.
Munuhe expressed his disappointment at the government’s treatment of teachers, asserting that withholding their rightful pay despite the teachers’ dedication to their work under unfavorable conditions is unjust. He emphasized that adhering to fair labor practices involves remunerating workers in accordance with their efforts and ensuring payments are made punctually.
“Fair labor practices demand that workers who render their services should be paid commensurate with the work done and on time. The teachers performed their part of the agreement successfully, yet all they get in return is neglect,” Munuhe noted.
As the standoff between KNUT and the government intensifies, education stakeholders and concerned parties await developments, hoping for a resolution that ensures fair compensation for the teachers who play a crucial role in the administration of national examinations.