Teachers are the backbone of the society, the people without whom we would not have any other professionals. Teachers in Kenya are facing a tumultuous time after their salaries have been delayed once more, ad worse so amidst a global pandemic wreaking havoc in the economy.
Kenya has seen its public teachers employed by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) rally up under tier union, taking to the streets in protest of such delays and unfavorable working conditions. Strikes have become common-place among teachers in the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) headed by Hon. Wilson Sossion in response to TSC failure to meet their obligations to their employees,
The negotiated rates for teachers’ salaries of Ksh 54 billion are set to end next month, June 2021 paving way for new negotiations that the teachers require of their employer. Hon. Session has however revealed that no response from TSC has been received in light of the 2021-2025 new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
The Kenya National Union of Teachers aims to arrive at an agreement that will raise salaries for teachers at a 16-30% rate. The aggrieved 376,770 public school teachers now complain of their professional and labor rights being trampled on by TSC and seek expedited justice.
This situation has left many wondering what is to blame for such occurrences when teachers are at the core of chartering a new dawn for the country economically. Kenya and the rest of the world has no doubt faced tough economic conditions in the past one year due to the Coronavirus Pandemic but gives no room to cut out democratic negotiations between employers and their employees. The salary delay is yet to be exclusively addressed by TSC Chief Executive Officer Nancy Njeri Macharia.
The government of Kenya is facing deep financial crisis and is now evident as it struggles to keep up with paying for essential services for their citizens. the financial crisis in the country encompasses debt weight, deep-seated corruption and poor financial decisions that have led to the nation simply being broke. Kenya’s debt portfolio as at June 2020 stands at Ksh 7.1 trillion, a staggering amount of money that must be paid in full.
The situation has not been made easier with the numerous corruption cases that face the country and notoriously by top government officials. Financial decisions in Kenya have to be better calculated and executed to salvage the situation and keep operations such as basic and essential services running.
Additionally, the Building Bridges Initiative also shifted focus in the country resulting in national investment in the agenda that was nullified by the High Court on 13th May, 2021 upon being deemed unconstitutional. Kenyan tutors now await word from the TSC regarding the way forward.