The teacher’s Service Commission (TSC) has asked the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers’ (Kuppet) to focus on upcoming national examinations and to avoid strike threats over salary.
TSC chief executive Nancy Macharia termed threats by Kuppet as “premature” and “unwarranted.”
Macharia, in a letter dated February 23, told union secretary general Akelo Misori to focus on national examinations and not to engage in any disruptive activities.
“The 2022 academic year is very delicate given the two national exams scheduled for April and November and the various assessments for grades 3 to 6. We ought to focus on this national exercise to ensure seamless transition. Any activity that will disrupt learning should be avoided at all costs,” Macharia said.
The union had on Wednesday threatened to take industrial action if TSC failed to meet their salary increment demands.
Misori gave the government seven days to effect the pay rise failure to which the union will take unspecified action.
The union had pitched a salary increment of between 30 and 70 percent for the highest paid and lowest paid teacher respectively, in the 2021-2025 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
If given, the pay rise will see the salary of the lowest-paid Kuppet member move from Sh34,955 to Sh59,425 while that of the highest-paid member will rise from Sh118,242 to Sh153,715.
Macharia however said that TSC is carrying out consultations with relevant government agencies and will revert to the union with its clear position to allow for bipartisan negotiations.
Misori said their decision to issue demands followed an unsatisfying response by the TSC to their request for the entity to reopen talks on their CBA.
He further said TSC is yet to state whether their members will get salary reviews this year. He said Kuppet members were expected to get the review during the Third Public Sector Remuneration and Benefits Review cycle.
“Our members deserved salary increments under the new CBA as provided for in the Constitution, the Labour Institutions Act section 44(5) and international legal instruments,” Misori said in a press statement.
TSC has said it does not have money to effect the pay rise, a claim Misori dismissed. The commission said the situation had been compounded by effects the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The excuse that there was no money was not convincing since other sectors have already received pay hikes. In the last quarter of 2020, some of the sectors increased the salaries of staff. Many companies in the private sector have recently concluded CBAs and effected raises,” Misori said.