Teachers’Union KUPPET, Threatens To Issue Strike Notice Before National Examinations, KCPE & KCSE.
If any teachers union acts on its threat, the administration of national examinations may be in jeopardy.
The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kupet) has announced that it will issue a strike notice today after rejecting their demand for new wage negotiations.
The union expressed displeasure over the Teachers Service Commission’s refusal to reopen talks on the 2021-2025 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
If the seven-day notice expires without any agreement, the teachers will go on strike a few days before the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams.
As per the revised education calendar, the KCPE exams in 2021 will be held from March 7 to 10, while the KCSE will start from March 11.
According to the Kenya National Council of Examinations (KNEC), 2,056,719 people registered for the exam. The tests are given and graded by the teachers.
TSC Chief Executive Officer Nancy Makaria announced last week that the commission had identified 242,406 teachers and appointed them to work as supervisors, supervisors, examiners and center managers.
According to Secretary General Akello Missori, the union sent a letter to the TSC on January 17, demanding the reopening of the CBA within 21 days.
“At the end of 21 days, the union said it would review the response of the commission before convening its organs to give further directions on further course of action,” he said. According to Missouri, the union has received a response from TSC. , “All the commission has accepted our letter and have promised to respond later after ‘inquiry’ its contents.”
He claimed that the union has no option but to go on strike.
“In the absence of a clear commitment to reopen negotiations, we do not know how long the inquiry may take and our members do not have the patience to wait any longer for a pay review.”
The union had requested a 30 to 70% increase in the salaries of both the highest and lowest paid teachers. Teachers were outraged when Kupet and the Kenya National Union of Teachers (NOT) signed a non-monetary CBA with the employer. The CBA only provided for increased maternity leave and cushioned joints for more generous transfers.
Both unions, pushed by their members, called for fresh talks, claiming that the economy had recovered from the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Missouri said yesterday that the union had no choice but to keep the government on its toes
Kupet wants the lowest paid teacher to be paid Sh59,425 instead of the current Sh34,955.
The union wants the highest paid teachers to earn Sh153,715 per month, which is higher than the current Sh118,242.
Missouri noted that when unions and TSC signed the CBA on July 13 last year, wage reviews were on hold due to the poor economic performance of COVID-19.
The excuse of Covid-19 should no longer be used to deprive teachers of their deserved pay review,” he said.
Kupet has also listed a number of perks that must be negotiated with the employer.
The union wants the commuter allowance to be increased from 5,000 to 8,500 for the lowest-paid teachers and from 16,000 to 20,800 for the highest-paid teachers, an increase of 30% to 70%.
The union also seeks a leave allowance of Rs 6,000 to Rs 10,000 for each grade on the basis of one month’s pay. They also want exposure allowances for science teachers, starting at Rs 5,465 for the minimum wage and going up. Sh30,587 for the highest payout.
The union is also advocating for overtime pay for teachers working in boarding schools as well as a postgraduate allowance for teachers with master’s and doctoral degrees.