What next for teachers after Uhuru snub?
04 February 2015, 18:52
Nairobi - President Uhuru Kenyatta delivered the final nail in the teachers pay saga, saying there is no money to increase basic salaries and allowances, so what next?
Uhuru confirmed Wednesday that teachers would indeed have to wait until the next financial year to have their demands for increased basic pay and allowances heeded by the government.
In a meeting with teachers unions Kenya National Union of Teachers KNUT and Kenya Post Primary teachers Union KUPPET, he told them that the government has no money for pay and that they should be patient.
He insisted that the money there is now is for obligations already previously planned for that the government simply cannot do without.
It is understood that the union bosses were not happy with the revelation and that they have not yet agreed on what to do over the matter.
The president also urged the union bosses to urge teachers to go back to the north Eastern region where they have refused to head to because they feel unsafe after terror attacks late last year saw 24 teachers killed by members of the Al Shabaab terror group.
" We have done our best to ensure teachers are safe. I understand that the situation last year was not good but now we have to move on. The government has improved security," he told them.
The issue though for union bosses is that they have played hard ball for a while now and asking teachers to wait a couple more months for a pay increase will not be a popular decision.
" It will not be a popular decision but what do they do? The president has spoken," education expert Joseph Kajuju told News24.
" Teachers deserve a pay increase. Everyone acknowledges that but the government has long insisted during pay talks that the current demands cannot simply be met," he added.
" The union bosses will just have to swallow their pride and wait, as much as I feel for the teachers," he concluded.
The Teachers Service Commision has also previously insisted that it will only agree to increased basic pay once a review of current teachers performances is done, something that the unions have vehemently refused to accept.
The two sides are currently at the Industrial Court trying to thrash out terms that will allow teachers demands be met in the short term.
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