Homa Bay ECDE teachers threaten to down tools over pay

ECDE teachers issue a strike notice to demand pay increments. [James Omoro, Standard]

Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) teachers in Homa Bay have vowed to go on strike on Wednesday to demand pay increments and permanent and pensionable contracts. 

Through the Kenya Union of Pre-Primary Education Teachers (Kunoppet), the teachers said the terms of service are poor. 

Homa Bay County Kunoppet Chairman Micheal Odera said the county administration did not give them favourable terms during the recent review. 

This came after Governor Gladys Wanga's administration reviewed the teachers' salaries following the recommendation of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC). 

Odera said that prior to the SRC’s recommendation, the ECDE teachers in Homa Bay had signed permanent and pensionable contracts with former Governor Cyprian Awiti’s administration. 

However, they currently serve under a renewable contract of five years that does not stipulate how they will get salary increments. 

“We are paid very little that cannot take care of most of their needs but what is sad is that the contract is temporary and there are no clear modalities of getting salary increment," Odera said. 

Homa County Secretary Bernard Muok in a letter dated October 16, 2023, said that the cabinet had approved the confirmation of all 898 ECDE teachers. He indicated that the confirmation was effective in January. 

However, the teachers claimed that the promise had not been fulfilled. 

"Our confirmation to permanent contracts was supposed to be implemented in January but has failed over reasons we don’t understand,” Odera said. 

The area Kunoppet Secretary Bernard Ouma said they had resolved to hold demonstrations on Wednesday. 

“We are going to down tools on Wednesday. We have also served different government departments with letters showing our intention to demonstrate,” Ouma said. 

Attempts to get a comment from Wanga’s administration were futile.