Industrial peace eludes us because of inexcusable inequalities in pay
The industrial relations structure that made it possible for Kenya to earn the reputation of a haven of industrial peace is slowly collapsing.
Negotiating with the State is difficult because, in some cases, unions don’t know who to talk to. Who, for instance, is the employer of teachers – the Teachers Service Commission, the Treasury, Education minister Mutula Kilonzo or the Salaries Review Commission?
Today, you cannot convince a school teacher demanding a 200 per cent salary increase that he is being unreasonable or that the government has no such money. They will ask you where the money to pay high salaries to judges, MPs, permanent secretaries and members of the mushrooming constitutional commissions came from.
Our own version of “Winter of discontent” is with us. We are witnessing the return of mass striking in the public sector.