01-07-2021 by redazione
Here we go again, Kenyan teachers have issued yet another ultimatum to the Teacher Service Commission, the government body that employs them. One week to make a counteroffer to their demands or it will be a general strike.
This is not the first time, since the beginning of the pandemic, that the public education category has come to blows with the government, at a time that is already very problematic for the continuity of service to 6 million children.
The teachers' unions; Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) and Kenya Union of Special Needs Education Teachers (KUSNET) met this week to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement with a tweak on salaries and a whole range of bonuses, for the next four years. The category's current contract expires at the end of July and they were looking to squeeze out little more than an adjustment until 2025.
At least that was the intention of the teachers, who announced after the meeting that the TSC's offer was unacceptable: the government had proposed freezing any increase for the next two years, offering alternatives that would include extending maternity and paternity leave.
"They have not offered us anything beneficial," admitted KUPPET general secretary Akelo Misori. We have, therefore, given the TSC seven days to come up with a counter-offer; otherwise, we will ask teachers not to report to schools for the first quarter of 2021, which begins at the end of August 2021. The TSC is using the alibi of the pandemic crisis and the advice of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) to frustrate the teachers and offer us a non-monetary counter-offer."
The KNUT's position is softer and more possibilistic, hoping to arrive at "amicable" solutions with the government, adding value for the teachers' pockets to the counter-offers, which are considered good.
All this so that the next school year can finally get off to a smooth start.
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