Teachers unions reject State House pay deal

The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) leadership has vowed not to relent in the quest for a pay raise for its members.

Speaking in Bomet on Saturday, Knut Secretary-General Wilson Sossion said the union would fight to ensure teachers enjoy better working terms.

He added that Knut would go to the Court of Appeal to contest the ruling that reversed the 50-60 per cent pay rise awarded to teachers by the Employment and Labour Relations Court.

In Migori, officials of the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers distanced themselves from agreements reached by their top leadership at State House.

“We are not a party to the talks because we have not exploited judicial processes. Our officials should not be duped into such a deal,” said County Kuppet chairman Kennedy Makasembo.

Mr Makasembo wondered why President Uhuru Kenyatta “is now pretending to be addressing our welfare just after the unions have threatened to campaign against Jubilee in the next elections”.

The State House deal, which includes the payment of teachers’ September salaries, withdrawal of cases filed by the parties and a new four-year collective bargaining agreement, is to be signed in a month, but it has split the unions.

The dispute pits Mr Sossion against six members of Knut’s steering committee, including Chairman Mudzo Nzili.

However, Mr Nzili insists the secretary-general was called and briefed on the State House meeting.

On Sunday, Mr Sossion said tax evaders consume at least Sh137 billion of the country’s GDP annually.

Knut acting National Treasurer John Matiang’i said any negotiations must begin with the 50-60 per cent increment for teachers.

He said teachers would not reverse their demand. “Let none be fooled. There shall be no middle road regarding our resolve,” Mr Matiang’i said in Gucha during the burial of a teacher. Kisii Kuppet boss Ken Nyaundi accused the government of dithering with teachers’ pay.