If a KUPPET union follows through on its strike threat, the administration of KCSE and KCPE examinations could be jeopardized.
KUPPET (Kenya Union of Post Primary Teachers) has announced that it will issue strike notice today. This is after their demands for new salary negotiations was declined by the employer.
The union has expressed displeasure with the TSC’s refusal to reopen their negotiations on the 2021-2025 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
If the seven-day notice expires without an agreement, teachers will go on strike just days before the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams and Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) Exams start. According to the revised education calendar, KCPE examinations in 2021 are to be done between March 7 and March10, while KCSE will start on March 11.
According to KNEC- Kenya National Examination Council, 2,056,719 learners registered for the exams.
TSC Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia announced last week that the commission had identified and vetted 242,406 teachers who will serve as invigilators, supervisors, examiners, and centre managers.
According to Secretary-General Doctor Akello Misori, the union sent a letter to TSC on January 17 demanding the CBA to be reopened within 21 days.
“Upon the expiry of the 21 days, the union said it would review the commission’s response before convening its organs to give further directions on the next course of action,” he said.
According to Misori, the union received a response from the TSC. “All the commission has done is acknowledge our letter and promise to respond later after’interrogating’ its contents.”
He claimed that the union had no choice but to strike. “In the absence of a clear-cut commitment to re-open the talks, we have no idea how long the interrogation might take and our members do not have the patience to wait any longer for a salary review.”
The union had requested a salary increase of 30 to 70% for both the highest and lowest-paid teachers. Teachers were outraged when Kuppet and the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) signed a non-monetary CBA with the employer. The CBA only provided for increased maternity leave and friendly transfers to cushion couples.
Both unions, pushed by their members, called for new talks, claiming that the economy had recovered from the Covid-19 pandemic shock. Dr Misori also stated yesterday, that the union had no choice but to keep the government on its toes.
The union wants the lowest-paid teacher to be paid Sh59,425 instead of the current Sh34,955. It also wants the highest-paid teachers to earn Sh153,715 per month, an increase from the current Sh118,242. “The excuse of Covid-19 should no longer be used to deny teachers their deserved salary reviews,” he said.
KUPPET listed a list of allowances that must be negotiated with the employer. They want commuter allowance raised from Sh5,000 to Sh8,500 for the lowest-paid teachers and from Sh16,000 to Sh20,800 for the highest-paid teachers, a 30% to 70% increase.