The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) has issued a one-week strike notice following a breakdown in talks with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).
People Daily on January 28, reported that the teachers proceeded to issue the notice to down tools even after they were offered a salary increase of between 16 and 32 percent.
Knut Secretary General Wilson Sossion while rejecting the salary increment, termed the proposal by SRC as irregular.
The Knut secretary-general stated that instructions conveyed to him by the National Executive Council requiring that the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) devise measures to allow for the beginning of talks within seven days, failure to which Knut will call for a strike.
“I am firmly instructed to inform you that upon the next seven days, Knut shall be left with no option but to organise its members for an industrial action,” Sossion stated.
He alleged that the move by SRC was not done out of proper negotiations or consultations with the involved stakeholders.
Sossion further argued that the SRC proposal was not backed by any data from the Central Planning and Monitoring Unit (CPMU) in the Ministry of Labour and that a proper job evaluation was not conducted to justify the salary raise.
He noted that Knut had on November 13, 2020, given TSC three weeks to put measures in place for a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)
“You instead went mute and activated your legal Department to revoke the existing Knut/TSC Recognition Agreement. This in effect is to declare that you are not intending to negotiate the next CBA with Knut, which in itself is an act of provocation and bad faith,” Sossion stated.
The Knut sec gen called for a proper job evaluation of classroom teachers to warrant proper compensation.
Sossion argued that should the union and the SRC conclude and put pen to paper on a CBA, the ongoing budget-making process could accommodate the new salary proposals.
The warning by Knut follows prolonged supremacy battles between the union and TSC, which has resulted in the former shutting down 110 offices nationwide.