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Court arbitration on teachers' salary dispute resumes Wednesday

By Augustine Oduor | March 11th 2015

NAIROBI: The Government and the two giant teachers' unions will return to the Industrial Court Wednesday for mention of the pay dispute case.

The court took up the arbitration role after the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and the two teachers' unions failed to agree on new pay demands that triggered a nationwide strike early this year.

Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) and Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) maintained that an increase on basic pay was mandatory to calling off the strike, but TSC disowned the offer.

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) also weighed in, advising TSC that any salary increment for teachers would only be feasible after a comprehensive job evaluation exercise.

Left with limited options, TSC and the two unions unanimously agreed to arbitration by the Industrial Court judge Nduma Nderi. The judge asked all parties to file their memorandum ahead of commencement of the arbitration exercise slated for Wednesday. In their documents, SRC and TSC maintained no salary would be awarded to teachers.

But the unions got a major boost when the Ministry of Labour filed a document recommending a 128 per cent salary increase. However, Labour Cabinet Secretary Kazungu Kambi denied such a document was filed, but failed to give the correct version of the memorandum.

Knut Secretary General Wilson Sossion asked Kambi to allow the court to arbitrate and warned him against discussing details of the matter in the Press.

"If he says they did not file such a document, then let the court find out. We have a copy of the document that was filed. Unless someone is playing games," said Sossion.

Kuppet Secretary General Akelo Misori said the court has taken charge of the process and all parties concerned had made their submissions.

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