Teachers reject the pay increase or demand it right away.
The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) have angrily opposed President William Ruto’s announcement of a pay hike for all public officials. They say that rather than approving the President’s proposed salary hike, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) should follow the terms established in the 2021-2025 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for teachers.
These teachers’ unions advocate for a methodical approach to determining suitable compensation changes that benefits their members in certain job categories. Their planned compensation increases range from 30 to 70%, with the highest-paid instructors receiving a 70% hike and the lowest workers receiving a 30% increase. This is in sharp contrast to President Ruto’s proposal, which called for a relatively moderate 7 to 10% pay increase.
To put things in context, the CBA for 2021-2025 already detailed ambitious wage adjustments. Kuppet, for example, aimed to raise the lowest-paid teachers’ wage to Ksh 59,425 from the existing Ksh 34,955, an agreement that had been canceled two years earlier. The teachers’ unions also argued within the same agreement for a rise in the highest-paid category from Ksh 118,242 to Ksh 153,715.
The unions underline that teachers have been fighting for two years to receive the perks outlined in the 2021-2025 Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Collins Oyuu, Secretary-General of the Kenya National Union of Teachers, responded by expressing the union’s intention to ensure that the Teachers Service Commission meets teachers’ demands, especially as the country transitions to Junior Secondary Schools (JSS) under the new curriculum. Oyuu also praised President Ruto’s recent announcement, citing it as a potential driver for strengthening the CBA for 2021-2025.
In a related event, the Teachers Service Commission announced 20,000 teaching job openings across the country to address the chronic teacher shortage. 18,000 of these posts are allocated for interns, while the remaining 2,000 offer permanent and pensionable work, with the goal of alleviating school staffing issues.