KNUT: Learning to be paralysed in public schools over housing tax

Former Knut Secretary General Francis Ng'ang'a and current holder of that position Wilson Sossion at the Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

A teachers' union has threatened to call a strike next month if the Government does not abandon new statutory deductions to fund construction of houses.

The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) has also rejected contributory pension, arguing that the two deductions were not factored in during the negotiation of the Collective Bargain Agreement that covers the period 2017-2021.

Knut delegates resolved that teachers must renegotiate the CBA to get higher pay if the two deductions – a housing tax of 1.5 per cent (under President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda) and 7.5 per cent Pension Superannuation – are to be implemented.

They told the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to brace for a strike in January, that will disrupt reopening of public schools if it does not honour their demands. 

In a letter sent to TSC, Knut Secretary General Wilson Sossion said a new statutory deduction could not be introduced during the life of the current CBA.

“The delegates therefore rejected the 1.5 per cent Housing Scheme deductions and the 7.5 per cent Pension Superannuation unless the CBA is revised,” said Mr Sossion.

Knut said the tax measures would cut the pay for its more than 300,000 members, which is already less than one-third of net income.

“We are hereby notifying you that our demands should be fully implemented by January 2, 2019 to avoid disruption of learning in our public schools.”

During the 61st Annual Delegates Conference, the teachers also demanded immediate promotion of all tutors with relevant higher qualification by January 2.

Knut accused TSC of unilaterally developing and implementing a process of performance appraisals and contracting.

The teachers want immediate compliance with Uhuru’s directive to TSC to stop the delocalisation policy, which they claim has disrupted families and adds no value to the teaching profession.

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