17 March 2014

Kenya: KNUT Says Teachers Want Higher Salaries

The Kenya National Union of Teachers has faulted the Jubilee administration's austerity measures. Knut assistant secretary general Hesbon Otieno said most workers, through their unions, are seeking a pay increase due to high cost of living. He said no workers will allow any government policy that will negatively affect their salary and allowances.

"Teachers in the country want the government to pay us in a new collective bargaining agreement and pay teachers who are due for promotion," Otieno said. He was addressing teachers during elections of Migori branch executive secretary at Migori County Stadium on Friday.

Otieno said they have approached the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers to accept a merger that will ensure teachers' interests are taken care of. "Knut has already formed a technical team that will oversee the merger of the two unions," he said. Otieno said they have already approached Kuppet severally to facilitate the merger but they are yet to get any positive feedback.

He challenged Kuppet Secretary General Akello Misori to come out clear on the merger, which will be key in negotiating with the government for better labour deals. "We have planned to have the merger by the end of May," he said.

Otieno said division among the two unions cost teachers during the last industrial action when both had a separate deal with the government. Caleb Opondi was chosen as the Migori branch executive secretary after garnering 1,044 votes to beat his opponent Thomas Ogogo who got 477 votes.

Opondi will replace Charles Katege who was elected to assistant secretary general of the union in last national elections.

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