Proposed pay rise by SRC threat to teachers’ bargaining power
Proposed pay rise by SRC threat to teachers’ bargaining power. Collins Oyuu, Secretary General of the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), has stated that the SRC proposal to boost civil sector salaries by 7 to 10% endangers the viability of collective bargaining for teachers.
According to Oyuu, the SRC did not take into account Article 14(5) of the Constitution, which requires employers and employer organizations to engage with employees through union representatives in the formulation of Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs).
“The same is stated in Chapter 226 of the Employment Act, the Code of Regulations for Teachers, and the Recognition Agreement that binds employers and employees.” As a result, the general legislation requires that specified procedures be followed when setting salaries and allowances for not only teachers, but all public officials.” Oyuu explained.
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He stated that the art of collective bargaining involves both parties reading and measuring emotions, facial expressions, and body language.
“For trade unions, which are usually in a disadvantaged position, these factors assist them in communicating, motivating themselves, and strategically overcoming conflicts and reaching an agreement; all of which is taken away by such unilateral declarations pronounced by SRC,” he continued.
Oyuu highlighted that the proposed increase does not include allowances that are crucial at the moment, with the Finance Act 2023 influencing consumer commodity prices.
“If this precedent is maintained, we may not have the opportunity to discuss allowances.” Transportation, rental, and medical costs are not what they were ten years ago. As a result, we must also discuss these issues,” he stated.
This comes just weeks after KNUT and KUPPET announced that they have reopened talks to incorporate a monetary component in the 2021-2025 CBA.