Teachers unions and the teachers employer, Teachers Service Commission (TSC), finally reached a deal in the just concluded talks.
“We are happy to announce that all parties have reached a deal. We have signed a new CBA 2021-2025 but there is room for strengthening it in the future,” said TSC Chief executive Nancy Macharia yesterday.
The deal was signed by the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut), Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) and Kenya Union of Special Needs Education Teachers (Kusnet) and its binding for all teachers.
Under the 2021-2025 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) deal which will start in July 1st 2021, 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 in hardship areas will now enjoy enhanced pack after TSC agreed to pay hardship allowances based on job grades. In the new deal hardship allowances will be paid across all job grades.
In the new agreement 15,000 Knut members will get a pay raise from the Sh54 billion pay package where they missed the third and fourth phases of the 2017-2021 CBA starting August 2021.
Maternity leave days will be increased to 120 from the present 90, and paternity leaves to 21 days up from 14.
TSC and teachers unions also agreed to launch Career Progression training for teachers to enhance teachers with knowledge and skills. The training will also be used for promoting teachers to various grades.
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 Teacher Professional Development (TPD) programme which is set to be launched by the Commission.
Though the CBA lacked immediate changes to salaries of teachers, TSC said this is not the end of the talks as they will plan for another talk on the issue in less than twelve months that could review the signed deal.
Dr Macharia said they took into consideration the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) directive.
“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.
Misori said teachers’ gains from 2017 have been ring-fenced in the new deal and noted that the content of the CBA must be reviewed as stated, once TSC gets the go-ahead.
“We have a small window to improve the CBA and we shall see to it that we review this,” said Akello Misori, Kuppet secretary-general.
Knut Secretary-general Collins Oyuu said that even though the monetary gain was missing, negotiations are a process.
Teachers will also have 45 days for those who want to adopt a children while teachers in Arid and Semi Aril Lands (ASAL) will have their allowances reviewed upward.
Teachers with disabilities will also have their allowances raised as house allowances will now change as TSC plan to pay according to regions.
TSC said starting this month it will capture data of teachers with various talents and skills and reward them for their exemplary work.
“As part of the Commission’s efforts to recognise exemplary teachers, we have this month rolled out an exercise to capture data of all those staff who excel in various spheres of work with a view to rewarding them accordingly as would be decided from time to time.
These areas would include excellence in national examinations, sport, theatre, institutional management, innovation, research, and advocacy, among others,” said Nancy Macharia in a statement.