Teachers have issued their employer, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) a seven-day ultimatum to offer them a counter-offer before they proceed into an industrial strike.
The teachers’ unions; Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) and the Kenya Union of Special Needs Education Teachers (KUSNET) fell out with TSC over salary increment in a meeting held on Monday, June 29.
The said parties were to negotiate a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for the years 2021-25. The current CBA 2017-21 expires in July 2021.
They alleged that TSC wanted to freeze salary rise for two years and offer them alternatives which included offering teachers paternity and maternity leaves.
Female teachers were to be accorded 120 leave days from the current 20 with their male counterparts given one week on top of the usual fortnight.
This was considered fringe benefits by the aggrieved teachers who argued that TSC was hell-bent on creating a crisis in the teaching sector.
“They did not offer us anything valuable. We have given the TSC seven days to give us a counter-offer; failure to that, we will ask teachers not to report to schools for the 2021 First Term commencing in August 2021.
“How can the TSC use the Covid-19 crisis and the advisory from the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) to frustrate teachers and offer us a non-monetary counteroffer,” KUPPET Secretary-General Akelo Misori lamented.
KNUT Secretary-General Collins Oyuu added that the fringe offers were good but they won’t add value to the teachers’ pockets.
Oyuu, however, played cagey with issuing a strike notice and argued that they would find amicable solutions to their row with TSC.
Another offer presented by TSC CEO Nancy Macharia was to promote teachers in arid and semi-arid areas first, with priority given to administrative teachers.