Teachers: Salaries top agenda in talks

By: MARYANNE GICOBI

Teachers on Monday resolved to make their unpaid September salaries and union dues the number one agenda in a meeting called by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to discuss new salaries.

Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Secretary-General Wilson Sossion said they expected the TSC to run the pay roll of the September salaries and pay union dues before they progress with the meeting slated for Wednesday 9 a.m.

“A pre-condition before we listen to TSC, is that they should pay teachers their September salaries and remit our union dues. Teachers have suffered enough embarrassment,” Mr Sossion told Nation in a telephone interview.

Mr Sossion added that he expected the meeting with the teachers’ employer to deliberate on the implementation of the 50- 60 per cent awarded by the Labour Relations Court.

“We will also want to talk on how to implement the 50 to 60 pay increase as it is still very viable. We are not starting the negotiations from zero, we already have had 26 meetings, and we expect TSC to obey the court orders,” said Mr Sossion.

Wednesday’s meeting was initiated by President Uhuru Kenyatta who met the union’s leaders in State House two week ago and asked them to start negotiations to solve the problem of perennial strikes by teachers.

The unions have been operating on a shoestring budget since the TSC stopped deducting union charges from teachers’ pay and, instead, asked them to get the money directly from their members.

Mr Sossion missed the President’s meeting saying he was not invited.

A week later, he seemed to have warmed up to the talk idea and even shelved a perceived impasse with the Chairman Mudzo Nzili, who had led the union leaders to State House for the meeting with the President.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION