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Why KUPPET And KNUT Should Not Relent In Their Quest For Teachers’ Salary Increment

In the beginning of this week, teachers were awoken by good news following a declaration that KNUT and KUPPET are pursuing salary negotiations with the employer TSC.

KUPPET wants a 30-70% increase on basic pay while KNUT is rooting for a 15-25% increment.

KUPPET Secretary General Akelo Misori also wants TSC to increase commuter allowance by 30-70%, leave allowance equivalent to one month salary, unified house allowance, introduction of township allowance, and introduction of risk allowance for science teachers.

Misori further questioned why the Government awarded other civil servants a salary increment, while excluding teachers.

KUPPET has now given TSC 21 days to open salary negotiations to avert unfavorable consequences; including and not limited to downing tools.

TSC Boss Nancy Macharia and KNUT Secretary General Collins Oyuu

Are teachers’ unions justified to call for a salary increment now?

Well, it is understood that salary increment stands frozen for at least two years or until when the economy recovers from COVID-19 pandemic shockwaves. Furthermore, the teachers’ unions entered into a legal agreement with TSC by signing a non-monetary CBA (2021-2015). Consequently, their quest may not be taken seriously by the employer.

On the other side, the call by unions for salary increment is valid and 100% justified.

Reasons Why TSC should increase teachers’ salaries now;

1. To cushion them against harsh economic times

The cost of living has risen tremendously in less than two years, following COVID-19 pandemic. The cost of most goods and services has skyrocketed by at least 50%. It is therefore prudent for TSC to consider the plight of teachers and increase their salaries.

Credit: Standard

2. It is their constitutional right

According to Labor Relations, every employee has a right to fair remunerations.

3. Increased work as a result of CBC implementation

CBC Pathways (Credit: ALU)

The contentious CBC is already being implemented at primary school level. This year, the pioneer grade 6 cohort will be sitting for their national examination that will see them transcend to Junior Secondary 1 in 2023.

According to implementers and experts, CBC is more expensive and time-consuming as compared to 8-4-4 system. Under CBC, teachers are assigned more duties and responsibilities as they shape the future of learners and the nation as a whole. It is thus, common knowledge that they deserve a better salary commensurate with their work.

4. To cater for increased professional development expenses

With the introduction of mandatory TPD (Teacher Professional Development) courses in 2021, teachers are poised to dig deeper in their pockets to finance their studies.

Each teacher will be paying Ksh. 6000 annually towards TPD training. If other hidden costs such as data bundles, transport, accommodation, meals, and documentation are factored in, the cost may go up as high as Ksh. 35,000 per year.

The fact that this training is continuous, then each teacher is projected to spend about Ksh. 1,050,000 towards TPD (assuming the teacher’s tenure is 30 years).

5. To cater for statutory deductions

As the implementation of Provident Fund deductions enters the second year, the Government is poised to raise the deductions to 5% in January 2022 and eventually 7.5% in January 2023. Teachers; are therefore, expected to lose a bigger chunk of their salaries as the New Year begins.

A spot check reveals that most of them are just ‘surviving’ on their already overburdened pay-slips and a further deduction will surely be disastrous. To save them from this agony, TSC should consider increasing their salaries and even backdate to July 2021.

Are teachers justified to call for a salary increment now? Share your views and opinions in the comments section.

Content created and supplied by: NNS-News (via Opera News )

Akelo Misori KNUT KUPPET Nancy Macharia TSC

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