The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) led by its secretary general, Henry Collins Oyuu, will address the public next week on what the union agreed with Teachers Service Commission (TSC) in their last meet.
TSC was in a series of meetings with Knut from Tuesday 5th to Friday 8th July 2022 to strike a deal on salary increment for teachers among other issues.
This week Hesbon Otieno, who is also the Knut Deputy secretary general, said the talks on salary increment as well as other issues affecting teachers were discussed and concluded.
“I can pronounce here that we had a cordial discussion that ended on Friday and that we have successfully concluded our meeting with TSC,” said Otieno amid applause by teachers
Otieno however did not reveal how much was tabled as offer by the Commission and what was agreed.
He said the talks on CBA agreement with TSC will be revealed to the public led by their secretary general Collins Oyuu.
“We will reveal information at the right time and the secretary general himself will speak and the whole of the republic will know the discussion we are having with the Teachers Service Commission,” said Otieno.
The Commission seeks to review the non-monetary Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) it signed with teachers unions last year.
In the 2021 – 2025 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), popularly known as maternity CBA, signed in July last year, teachers did not enjoy monetary benefit but saw an increase in maternity and paternity leave days.
Maternity leave for female teachers increased from 90 to 120 while paternity leave increased from 14 to 21 days.
The CBA also allowed promotion of teachers in arid and semi-arid areas (ASAL) on affirmative action. However this left teachers without a pay increase but TSC CEO Dr Nancy Macharia promised to review it when economy improves.
Both Knut and Kuppet are pushing for salary review citing inflation. Knut wants a pay rise of between 15 and 20 per cent for its members.
Oyuu is also pushing for review of commuter and house allowances to meet the rising inflation.
Kuppet on the other hand wants the basic monthly salary of the lowest paid teacher to be raised from Sh34,955 to Sh59,425 and that of the highest paid increased from Sh118,242 to Sh153,715.
It also wants an increase in the commuter allowance from Sh5,000 to Sh8,500 for the lower cadre teachers and Sh16,000 to Sh20,000 for the highest paid tutors.
The Commission, informed by opinion polls which show that teachers are unhappy lot, is struggling to reach an agreement with teachers unions ahead of general elections.
With the skyrocketing prices of good and the ever rising inflation, life for teachers has become unbearable and can only be eased by a payrise.
Knut agreed with the Commission on deployment of primary school teachers to teach in Junior secondary next year.
The union officials also asked TSC to consider P1 teachers with KCSE mean grade C (plain) with degree in secondary option.
TSC in response however remained adamant that only PTE teachers with minimum KCSE grade C+ (plus) with grade C+ (plus) and above in the two teaching subjects will be allowed to teach in junior secondary.
Another issue Knut engaged with TSC is the contentious Teacher Professional Development (TPD) training.
The union want state to shoulder the cost of training teachers. However it seems teachers will continue to pay for their own training despite a recommendation by Parliament.
Knut was also in discussion with TSC on the Parliamentary recommendations which ordered promotion of teachers who upgraded their certificates.
Parliament recommended that the TSC should continue recognizing and acknowledging higher qualifications acquired by teachers while in service.
The MPs want TSC to promote teachers who have acquired diplomas, bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees while in service.
“The TSC should within six months of adoption of this report open negotiations with teachers’ unions on the Career Progression Guidelines (CPGs) and uphold the rights of teachers who have acquired relevant qualifications at the time of their in-service.
“Further TSC shall give guidelines on relevant courses to be undertaken by teachers,” reads the report by the Education and Research Committee.
TSC however want to use TPD training as the benchmark training for promoting teachers. The Commission says automatic promotion of teachers who upgraded their certificates is not possible.
TSC stopped automatic promotion of teachers who advanced their studies in January 2014. Those who present their new certificates to TSC are only issued with acknowledgement letters.