Kenyan teachers’ deal ‘Will embolden teachers in Africa'

MOMBASA: There was jubilation in Coast Tuesday following the Industrial Court's decision to award teachers a hefty pay rise.

Pupils at Kipevu Primary School in Changamwe joined teachers to celebrate the ruling, which teachers' unions said was long overdue.

Teachers punched the air and sang and danced in celebration, with learning being momentarily disrupted.

Speaking at the school, Kenya National Union of Teachers Kilindini Branch Secretary Dan Oloo welcomed the ruling, saying it would improve living standard of teachers in urban counties such as Mombasa.

"Today we thank the court for the landmark ruling and we hope the ministry will not challenge the ruling since all the parties including Teachers Service Commission promised to adhere to it," said Mr Oloo.

He said Tuesday's court ruling will embolden teachers' unions in Africa and across the world.

He welcomed the increase that will be backdated to July 2013 and also paid tribute to the legal team that argued the case in court for their steadfastness.

"We're very happy for the court ruling. As teachers, we've been overworked but underpaid for along time," said Agnes Nguma, a teacher at the school.

The court ruled that a collective bargaining agreement should be registered between the Teachers Service Commission and the teachers' unions within 30 days.

News of the court ruling caught Kwale County teachers unaware as they were holed up in a meeting at Kwale High School.


The teachers led by Kuppet Kwale Branch Executive Secretary Mackenzi Tuki, praised the Industrial Court for the ruling, saying justice had been done.

"Justice has been done at last and the Government should expedite disbursement of the money," said Mr Tuki.

He said successive governments had marginalised teachers in the county for long, adding that the pay award will help boost their morale.

"Kwale has very few teachers who are overworked. The roads are also impassable and the county is also facing many other challenges and this is good for us," he added.