The Teachers Service Commission CEO Dr Nancy Macharia has called teachers for a meeting set to be held on Tuesday at the Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi to deliberate on the 2021-2025 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) Secretary-General Akelo Misori had earlier on written to the TSC boss expressing concerns over the delay in finalizing talks on a new CBA, which was scheduled to be signed before July 2021.
The new Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary General Collins Oyuu also stated that they had received an invitation from the commission, to discuss teachers’ concerns.
The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education (KUPPET) submitted a list of their demands to TSC. They want the commission to negotiate and implement the 2021-2025 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), with the current one set to expire next month.
They also demand teachers be offered a 70 per cent pay rise in the next CBA, from the current 30 per cent. Further, they are calling for salary increase arrears for over 3500 technical and vocational education and training (TVET) teachers transferred from TSC to the Public Service Commission (PSC) as stipulated in the 2017-2021 CBA.
“Teachers expect nothing other than a salary review this year. We have gathered that TSC was advised by the Salaries Remuneration Commission (SRC), but TSC has not shared the advisory with us,” said KUPPET Secretary General Akello Misori.
Misori noted that since they initiated talks on the new CBA for the past two years, TSC has consistently snubbed their efforts to have structured talks.
“As a union, we have diligently discharged our obligation under the Labour Relations Act, but the government has been dragging its feet for more than a year,” said Akello Misori, the Kuppet secretary-general.
According to KUPPET, all that remains in the negotiations is for the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) to give its advisory report to TSC to allow it to table a counteroffer to the union.
But in reply, the teachers’ employer said it has noted the union grievances and acknowledge they are valid. TSC further promised teachers that it is taking all steps to ensure the subject is addressed in the shortest time possible.
“The Commission has duly noted your sentiments on the above subject matter (CBA 2021 – 2025) with which we concur to be valid. I wish to assure that the Commission is taking all the steps to ensure that the matter is addressed in the shortest time possible,” said TSC CEO Dr Nancy Macharia.
The implementation of the 2021 – 2025 CBA is supposed to commence on July 1, 2021. About 320,000 teachers countrywide are anxious as their current CBA is weeks to expiry. TSC has failed to make a counteroffer to the one made by the unions in the 2021-2025 CBA.
The expiring CBA signed four years ago was implemented in phases for Sh54 billion and will expire on 30th this month. CBAs are normally discussed and implemented across 4 years.
TSC had proposed the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) to have a basic salary increase of between 16 per cent and 32 per cent; with classroom teachers getting the higher perks.
The 16 per cent rise in basic pay should be for teachers in administrative grades (C4 to D5) who gained largely from the 2016-2021 CBA. Classroom teachers in lower grades (B5 to C3) are set to be awarded an increment of 30 per cent; if the TSC proposals are adopted.
SRC promised to address the stagnation of teachers at job group L (C3) for nearly 20 years with diploma holders being the most affected. “Disparities in pay for workers with similar qualifications, skills, and incomparable occupations, contradict the principles of equal pay for work of equal value,” stated SRC.
A possible increment of up to 20 per cent leave allowances, commuter, and house allowances could also be seen. This possibly means that Senior and Chief Principals will earn between Ksh.131,380 and Ksh.157, 656. Deputy principals in job groups D1 to D3 will get a salary between Kshs 77,840 and Ksh.125, 573.
But the teachers’ unions KUPPET and KNUT had rejected the CBA recommendations by the teachers’ employer. In 2020, the union submitted a new CBA to TSC which KNUT demanded a pay rise of between 120 – 200 per cent as KUPPETsought a 30 to 70 per cent pay rise.
Early this month, SRC chairperson Lyn Mengich announced that they were still on with the CBA negotiation process and that her commission was looking into submissions made by the TSC regarding teachers’ proposals on salary review. TSC had promised to communicate by June 20.
Generally, discussions for a new cycle between unions and TSC are made at least a year before the lapse of the existing one. But union officials say there is still doubt ahead after the national treasury failed to consider teachers’ salary increment in the Budget.
Treasury designated over Sh588 billion to the Ministry of Education in the 2021/2022 financial year budget, no monies were allocated to finance the 2021-2026 CBA.
The current CBA is set to expire on Wednesday 30th, but TSC has not made any counteroffer to the one that teachers unions made. The unions are pushing for the implementation of the new CBA, even as the country transitions to the Competency-Based Curriculum.
These developments come at a time when TSC is changing its recruitment approach. The commission has proposed the scrapping of a Bachelor of Education degree and directed teachers to pursue a Bachelor of Arts course or a Bachelor of Science for three years.
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