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Teachers start fresh push for higher salaries

Monday September 9 2019

Teachers

Kenya National Union of Teachers Secretary-General Wilson Sossion (right) - flanked by chairman Wycliffe Omucheyi - addresses journalist on the teachers' salary issue, at Knut offices in Nairobi on August 5, 2019. They have renewed the push for higher income. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

OUMA WANZALA
By OUMA WANZALA
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Teachers have asked the Teachers’ Service Commission (TSC) to triple their salaries within the next two years.

The details are contained in a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) for 2021-2023, which will replace the current CBA (2017-2021).

The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) wants the basic salary of the lowest paid teacher, currently earning Sh27,195, increased to Sh65,268.

Last week, Knut Chairman Wycliffe Omucheyi led a team to TSC, but Secretary-General Wilson Sossion did not attend the meeting due to a leadership row in the union.

The team said TSC and Knut had agreed to re-establish a committee towards expediting work on the 2021-2023 CBA.

In the 2017-2021 CBA, teachers in the lower cadres had their pay rise implemented in two phases, while those holding administrative positions had theirs implemented in four phases.

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ALLOWANCES

Salary increments under the current CBA are estimated at Sh54 billion.

The TSC has a Sh251 billion budget and employs 318,000 teachers in public schools across the country.

Meanwhile, Knut has proposed that senior principals earn Sh260,132 and principals Sh230,000.

It also wants Secondary Teacher I and Senior Teacher I to be paid Sh129,462 as basic salary.

The union also proposes annual increments to be awarded from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2023, and that house allowances be adjusted by 50 per cent effective from July 1, 2021.

On risk allowance, Knut wants all teachers handling technical and science subjects to benefit at the rate of 10 per cent of their basic salary.

It further wants hardship allowances increased from Sh38,100 for principals and Sh6,600 for classroom teachers to between Sh32,634 and Sh144,518.

HARMONISE PERKS

The union also wants commuter allowances increased from Sh4,000 to Sh16,000 to Sh6,000 to Sh24,000, while leave allowance should be equivalent of one month’s salary and payable once a year.

The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) is proposing a salary increase of between 30 and 70 per cent in the 2021-2025 CBA.

It wants the salary of lowest paid teacher get Sh36,985, with house allowances for teachers everywhere to range between Sh6,750 and Sh45,000.

TSC boss Nancy Macharia said the commission was also looking at the proposal by Kuppet on harmonising house allowances for teachers so that it is based on job group and not geographical location.

“It was agreed that there shall be a joint retreat between TSC and Kuppet to not only to evaluate the progress and gaps in the implementation of the current CBA, but to also lay the ground for the next CBA,” she said after meeting Kuppet recently.