Expectant teachers employed by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) have lamented of not enjoying the fruits of the recently concluded Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
In the CBA which runs from July 2021 to July 2025 teachers were awarded 120 days maternity leave, translating to four months, up from the previous 90 days (three months).
However teachers have reported being rejected the 120 days when applying for the leave instead they are ordered to stick to the old 90 days maternity leave rule.
“I was told to produce a circular to show prove that the 120 days maternity leave is valid. I couldn’t and so had to use the usual 90 days,” one teacher who sought anonymity told Teachers Arena.
It is not clear why the CBA benefits are taking so long to be implemented when the agreement is already deposited at the Labour and Relations Court.
The CBA which which was signed in July by TSC and Knut (Kenya National Union of Teachers) together with other teachers unions Kuppet (Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers) and KUSNET (Kenya Union of Special Need Education Teachers) outlined new benefits for teachers.
“The Commission has, therefore, today 13th July, 2021, signed a new CBA with the three recognized teacher unions to cover the period 2021 to 2025. The TSC wishes to thank officials of the trade unions for embracing dialogue and professionalism in the spirited fight for the rights of their members, who are indeed our employees,” said TSC CEO Dr Nancy Macharia at Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi.
In the CBA Maternity leave days were increased to 120 from 90, and paternity leave to 21 days up from 14.
The CBA was deposited in Labour and Relations court last month and is binding.
Teachers who are not members of any union were charged Agency fee in their August salary.
Primary school teachers suffered a deduction of 2% of their basic salary, secondary school teachers 1.8% and those teaching in special schools 1.45%.
The 2% deducted will be shared between TSC and Knut, 1.8% between TSC and Kuppet and lastly 1.45% between TSC and Kusnet.
However Agency fee deduction hasn’t augured well with teachers who have vehemently opposed it.
Under the 2021-2025 CBA deal TSC will transfer couples to schools near each other (if both are teachers) subject to the availability of vacancies.
This means delocalized teachers who suffered from distance relationships will now find peace by joining their wives and husbands who are teachers.
Teachers will also have 45 days for those who want to adopt children while teachers in Arid and Semi Aril Lands (ASAL) will have their allowances reviewed upward.
Teachers in hardship areas will now enjoy enhanced perk after TSC agreed to pay hardship allowances based on job grades. In the new deal hardship allowances will be paid across all job grades.
Teachers with disabilities will also have their allowances raised as house allowances will now change as TSC plan to pay according to regions.
TSC wooed teachers to accept and sign a non-monitory CBA citing advisory from the Salaries and Remuneration Commission(SRC).
“Although the union’s proposal included financial component the commission beseeched them to consider the advice given by the SRC that directed a freeze on salary reviews in the public sector,” said Dr Macharia.
According to SRC The National Treasury advised it that due to the effect of Covid-19 pandemic on the performance of the revenue and the expected slow economic recovery the Commission should consider postponing the review for the next two fiscal years until the economy improves.
In the agreement a total of 16,000 teachers belonging to Knut and who missed the third and fourth phase of the last CBA 2017 – 2021 benefited immensely after TSC paid their two phases in the August salary.
KNUT members had a total salary increase of between Sh.8,000 and Sh.15,000, backdated to cover the last two phases (2019 and 2020) they missed out.
Some of the teachers will also be promoted after they missed out on the opportunities when the rest of their colleagues were moved up during the implementation of the CBA.
Full implementation of 2017-2021 CBA saw primary school teachers who were previously on job group B5 earning a basic salary of Sh.21,345, moved to C1 with a salary increment of about 8,000 shillings.
Allowances for these teachers were also increased tremendously. They enjoyed a new house allowance of Sh.4,200, commuter of Sh4,000, and hardship allowance of 8,200 shillings.
Knut currently has a total of 15,000 members. Some experts argue that this number is way less and does not allow Knut to negotiate and sign for a CBA with TSC according to law.
The signing of the recent CBA has given TSC room to launch the contested Teacher Professional Modules (TPDs).
Kenyatta University, Riara University, Mount Kenya University, and the Kenya Education Management Institute (Kemi) were picked by TSC to train the teachers.
These training institutions will offer the TPD programme which is set to be launched by the Commission.
In the CBA Knut which opposed the Career Progression Guidelines (CPG) for teachers under Former Secretary General Wilson Sossion has now embraced it as a basis for grading and promoting teachers and discarded the Schemes of Service.
In the new CBA 18 areas were listed as Hardship zones. Teachers in these areas will be paid Hardship Allowance.
The official ASAL and Hard to staff areas approved and included in the CBA are;
1) Baringo North; Tiaty East, Tiaty West and Marigat sub-counties in Baringo County.
2) Garissa County
3) Suba and Mbita sub-counties in Homa Bay County
4) Isiolo County
5) Mashuuru, Loitoktok and Kajiado West sub-counties in Kajiado County
6) Kwale County
7) Magarini and Ganze in Kilifi County
8) Lamu County
9) Mandera County
10) Marsabit County
11)Mumoni, Mutito North and Tseikuru sub-counties in Kitui County
12) Narok South and Narok North sub-counties in Narok County
13) Samburu County
14) Taita Taveta County
15) Tana River County
16) Turkana County
17) Wajir County
18) West Pokot County