Knut Secretary-General Wilson Sossion addresses journalists after meeting with Teachers Service Commission officials in Upper Hill, Nairobi, on August 26, 2015. The other teachers' union, Kuppet, boycotted the meeting. PHOTO
Teachers have remained defiant in their fight for higher pay and have given the government five days to implement the raise ordered by the courts.
Officials of their unions, Knut and Kuppet, on Wednesday vowed to call a national strike if the government fails to implement the 50-60 per cent increase by August 31.
Addressing journalists after meeting with Teachers Service Commission officials, Knut Secretary-General Wilson Sossion said there was nothing else to discuss and told the government to top up teachers' August salaries.
The Court of Appeal had ordered the commission to effect the pay raise from August 1, awaiting determination of its appeal.
The commission's petition at the Supreme Court flopped on Monday.
“Our intention in the meeting was to ensure that the court order is complied with. We are giving TSC five days, and if the money is not in the teachers’ accounts by midnight of August 31, we will down our tools," he said.
The union remained adamant despite pleas from the TSC, which had invited them for talks in a bid to avert a strike.
LIVES AT STAKE
TSC head of communication Kihumba Kamotho said officials had called the unions to let students start classes on Monday as they engage the government to release the money.
“We called them to ask if they would ask the teachers to return to work on Monday as we engage the necessary authorities to give us funds, there are lives of 10 million children at stake,” said Mr Kamotho.
The unions could hear none of that.
The other teachers' union, the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers, boycotted the meeting, saying the TSC should not be engaging them, but the National Treasury, in talks to release the funds.
“The court ruling was elaborate and self-explanatory. We, therefore, refused to attend the meeting because that was a tactic by TSC to delay the implementation of the award. What we are expecting is a meeting to sign a CBA as directed by the Labour and Employment Court,” Kuppet Secretary-General Akelo Misori told reporters in Nairobi.
15PC ANNUAL RAISE
Mr Sossion, on the other hand, asked Parliament to direct the Treasury to release the funds.
The 50 to 60 per cent basic salary increase translates to an annual raise of between 12.5 and 15 per cent over four years.
A P1 teacher in Job Group G, the lowest-paid category, is supposed to take home Sh26,707, up from the current Sh16,692.
The best-paid teacher, a chief principal in Job Group R, would earn Sh163,634, up from Sh109,089.