Kenya President and Teachers Strike September Pay Deal
Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta has intervened in the country’s dispute over teacher wages by directing the TSC to pay salaries outstanding from September.
The president also called for fresh dialogue between the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and striking teachers to resolve the ongoing dispute. Further, Kenyatta said more than 40,000 teachers who worked through the September strikes should be paid extra allowances for their efforts.
TSC ordered to pay union dues
The intervention came on Tuesday, during a meeting at the State House, summoned by President Kenyatta. Deputy President William Ruto, Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi, TSC chairperson, Dr Lydia Nzomo and Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) chairman Mudzo Nzili all attended.
The president also ordered the TSC to pay Knut and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) Sh510 million (nearly $5 million) in union dues, which has been owed to them for three months.
The unions were forced to close several branches after they were unable to pay staff.
Four-year deal to be agreed
The President declared on Tuesday that cases filed by both parties will be withdrawn from the courts and a four-year deal will be negotiated.
“All cases filed by parties will be withdrawn from court and negotiations will begin in which a new four-year CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) should be agreed on within a month,” Kenyatta said.
Kenyan teachers have been in various courts since January over the pay dispute and a recent ruling prompted threats of taking their case to the Supreme Court.
The president also called on teachers to accept the need for compromise, however.
“There must also be full recognition of a basic point: Equal pay for equal work. We are in public service, and we have a duty to manage public funds equitably and effectively,” he said.
Once the existing cases are withdrawn from court, the TSC and Knut will begin their dialogue and negotiate terms for the four-year agreement.