Unions Unanimously Castigate Treasury For Rejecting SRC’s Fund Request For 2021-2025 CBA
Public servants are not impressed with the move by the National Treasury to withhold more than ksh 83 billion salary increment that civil servants and teachers were to entitled to starting July 2021.
Through labour unions, teachers and civil servants have collectively threatened of an industrial action should the government fail to honour the various collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) it signed with its employees.
Sossion feels that it is wrong to punish workers because of excessive borrowing in the economy. “The CBAs must be funded as recommended by SRC. The Treasury and government cannot undermine what has been recommended by SRC,” said the nominated MP.
“The Government and employers should prepare for stiff resistance from unions. The economy was more than capable of accommodating Sh83 billion, with close to two-fifths of this meant for teachers,” said Wilson Sossion, Kenya National Union of Teachers, Knut Secretary General.
According to Cotu Secretary General Francis Atwoli, economies globally have been devastated by the covid-19 pandemic But counties make annual budgets, therefore the government does not have to wait for four years to think of workers’ plight. He suggested that the money being borrowed should be used to support Kenyans.
“I said it that the billions we are borrowing should supplement our budgetary allocations and also fight of Covid-19. But not to be pocketed by a few individuals,” said Atwoli.
The Public Finance Management Act 2012, however, does not allow the Government to use borrowed money to pay salaries.
Kenya Universities Staff Union (KUSU) said the Government must look for money for the workers’ CBAs or risk an industrial action.
“Kenyans pay taxes and workers are the Kenyans. So they will have to get what is due to them. The Government must look for money to implement CBAs,” said Charles Mukhwaya, KUSU Secretary General.“Sh6 billion is a drop in the ocean and a big joke.”
Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) Secretary General Akelo Misori has declined to comment on the matter. KUPPET Insiders however say that the move would be a major setback for classroom teachers, who were expected to largely benefit from the next CBA.
Union of Kenya Civil Servants Deputy Secretary General Jerry ole Kina said they are in the last phase of their CBA and noted that they have been in talks with the Government.
“We have been trying to monitor the development. We are expecting the Ministry of Public Service on 19th . We have been in discussion. Before we can comment, let’s hear them first,” said Kina.
“If it’s a positive answer we shall welcome. If this is for entire public service then we need to know the fine details of what they are talking about.”