Teachers Won’t Oversee 2023 Exams without pay 2022 Dues-Knut
Teachers will not oversee the 2023 national exams if the government fails to pay them for their 2022 exam work, the Kenya National Union of Teachers has said.
Knut issued a one-week ultimatum, saying its members will not participate in supervising, invigilating and marking exams if teachers who did the work last year are not paid.
Union Secretary General Collins Oyuu on Saturday expressed concerns teachers who presided over the 2022 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education and the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exams have not been paid, despite the government acknowledging their work.
Oyuu said teachers have waited long enough and Knut will not allow other teachers to face the same no-pay tribulations for working on the 2023 exams.
“Knut has written several letters to Knec to expedite payment for the teachers but nothing has come forth. Unless they pay them this week, teachers won’t oversee 2023 national exams,” Oyuu said.
The unionist said, the Ministry of Education promised to pay teachers by the end of July.
The government had said the payment was factored into the budget.
Speaking during the sixth Knut Suba branch annual general meeting at Mbita High School in Suba North, Oyuu asked the government to address issues of the welfare.
Branch officials Roselyne Olambo (executive secretary), Samwel Obunga (chairman), and others organised the meeting.
Present were Homa Bay Senator Moses Kajwang, Water secretary Samuel Alima and Homa Bay Education executive Martin Opere.
Knut demands compensation of teachers should they unfairly be interdicted. Oyuu said a lot of teachers who have been wrongly interdicted for different mistakes live impoverished lives.
He expressed concern that some have been fired from their jobs when they are about to retire.
“Some left work when they are 50 years old. It means they missed their retirement benefits,” he said.
Knut wants the Teachers Service Commission to hire Early Childhood Education teachers and remunerate them.
Oyuu announced Knut is already negotiating with the TSC to agree to ECD hiring but said there is disparity hiring and salary payment of the teachers in different counties.
Another demand by the union is to increase salaries of head teachers staffing both primary schools and junior secondary schools..
Most junior secondary schools are domiciled in primary schools and are headed by the same person who heads the institutions.
“Best labour practices require the teachers who head primary schools that are domiciled in junior secondary schools have their salaries increased. Their roles are increased,” Oyuu said. Kajwang urged Knut not to relent in its push for the welfare of teachers.
“Unions which don’t fight for the welfare of their members have collapsed. Let Knut concentrate on its mandate to enable its members to realise its objectives,” Kajwang said.
Alima said the national government is working on a master plan to continue supplying water in schools.
“The government is committed to ensuring students are given clean and safe water for better health care,” Alima said.
Olambo asked the government to swiftly consider Suba region as a hardship area.
“The presence of islands, mountains and impassable roads make the region a hardship place. The government should treat it as a hardship region with higher pay to motivate teachers,” Olambo said.