Teachers demand salary raise if they are going to pay house levy

Tonui said the inflation rate had affected the teachers' purchasing power and that introducing a new levy will only make life more difficult.

Kuppet proposal

He said Kuppet has tabled a proposal of a 42 per cent pay increase, saying there was no shortcut out of the situation other than the re-opening of the 2021-2025 CBA signed with TSC to pave the way for new negotiation.

The union leaders said this at the Knut Bomet branch AGM on Sunday that was attended by Knut National Executive Council Members led by Bomet Branch Executive Secretary Malel Lanagat, Eliud Ombori, Kasimba Ngui, Francis Bundotich, Lucy Machuki, Alex Dunga, Bonvas Tenai, and Alice Bor, who shared the Secretary General's sentiments.

Also present during the ceremony were Bomet Senator Hillary Sigei, former Governor Isaac Ruto, Kuppet Bomet Branch Executive Secretary Paul Kimetto and Bomet County Executive Committee member in charge of education Agnes Ruto.

Tonui said while they support the government initiative, they were afraid it may affect teachers' livelihood negatively and eventually affect academic performance. He decried how the government had rushed into the proposal, demanding fresh consultation and public participation to forestall a stalemate.

"Talks should be opened so that there is a smooth way of implementing the proposal, but if the government moves without allowing talks, then I am afraid it may create friction with workers," said Tonui.

He added: "It is our advice as teachers that we should open talks and negotiate a way from the proposal for a 3 per cent levy."

Former Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto, KUPPET Bomet Branch Secretary Paul Kimetto and KUPPET Deputy National Treasurer Ronald Tonui during Knut Bomet branch AGM. [Gilbert Kimutai, Standard]

The teachers became the latest workforce in the country to voice their concerns over the cost of living and punitive taxes and levies being introduced.

Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union have been vocal on the new housing levy and have threatened to down tools if passed in Parliament.

Medical workers

KMPDU Secretary General Davji Atella, who has been vocal on the matter, said the levy is meant to milk the medical workers dry despite their cry for better pay falling on deaf ears.

Ruto said the poverty levels in the villages were worrying and asked the government to devise ways to tackle the situation.

He said there was a need to insist on Kenyans learning to depend on their production to reduce over-dependence support from the government.

Ruto said lack of employment was biting hard, saying for the government to move forward smoothly should devise ways of creating jobs for many youths, who are languishing in the villages and waiting for the government for food.