TSC invites unions for CBA offer as classroom teachers make declaration

TSC invites unions for CBA offer as classroom teachers make declaration

The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has invited the two rival teachers unions for a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) talks.

TSC has invited both the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) at Safari Park Hotel today 29th June for negotiatons leading to tabling of a counter offer.

“The Commission has the pleasure to invite the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) to a meeting to be held on Tuesday 29th June 2021 at Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi. The meeting will commence at 10.00 am,” wrote Nancy Macharia to Kuppet Secretary General Akello Misori.

TSC highlighted four agendas for the meeting planned to kick off today at 10.00 am.

Among the agendas is the tabling of the Commissions offer as well as negotiating the 2021 – 2025 CBA.

SRC had already given its salary proposal and TSC was expected too to table its counter offer to teachers.

Last week Kuppet issued fourteen days strike notice after SRC issued a statement that it has frozen any salaries review for public sector employees.

Akelo Misori said SRC overstepped its mandate which is only limited on its roles of giving advisory and not giving directives.

Kuppet insisted there must be salaries review and completion of Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) negotiations in order to address issues affecting classroom teachers whose new job evaluation was to be captured in the 2021 to 2025 CBA.

“Kuppet rejects the position issued by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission on the outcome of the third public sector remuneration and benefits review cycle. The commission purported ban on salaries reviews for public sector employees for the next two years starting 2021 – 2021 was clearly beyond its mandate,” said Misori.

On Thursday 17th June SRC froze salary reviews for all teachers, civil servants and state officers owing to the economic slowdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

SRC boss Lyn Mengich said there will be no salary increments for the public servants for the next two years to allow the government stabilize the economy.

“Cognisant of the government’s financial constraints, the current wage bill ratios, the need to release resources for investment in the strategic priorities of the government to jumpstart the Covid-19-ravaged economy, there will be no review of the basic salary structures, allowances and benefits paid in the public sector in the financial year 2021/2022-2022/23,” said the SRC boss.

The commission further announced that no additional funding will be provided for implementation of the job evaluation results in the next two financial years.

“Public sector institutions may implement job evaluation results, by placing jobs in their rightful job evaluation grading, within the existing salary structures and approved budgets, subject to confirmation to SRC that the funding is provided for in the current budget,” said SRC.

The commission says it will review the situation after two fiscal years, and based on the status of the economy, it will guide on the way forward for the remaining period of the third remuneration and benefits review cycle.

Classroom teachers demand for better CBA bridging the huge salary gaps

Classroom teachers are now demanding for a CBA that will solve the huge salary disparities brought by CBA 2021 – 2025.

Early this year the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) gave classroom teachers a major win through a new job evaluation which recognised their huge role in school thus setting stage for higher pay in next CBA.

A report by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) disclosed that the last job evaluation was skewed, favouring school heads while leaving classroom teachers with nothing.

The report shows the present job descriptions of the classrooms teachers, based on the 2016/2017 evaluation, grossly undervalued their worth, resulting in poor pay.

It discloses that the present Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), implemented based on the last job evaluation, heavily favoured head teachers as it did not aptly capture classroom teachers’ job descriptions.

“There were significant disparities in the compensation and career progression between the institutional administrators and classroom teachers in the teaching profession as the job evaluation results for 2016/2017 did not adequately cater for the remuneration of classroom teachers. This might be attributed to poor development of job descriptions in 2016,” reads the report.

This means for the last four years, classroom teachers, who are also the majority staff, were underpaid in the CBA, which ends in June 2021.

Details of the current CBA shows primary school head teachers and secondary school principals were moved to higher job grades in 2016.

All primary school heads of boarding and day schools were automatically move up to Grade D1, earning between Sh77,840 to Sh93,408.

Primary head teachers with lower students’ population were elevated to C5, earning Sh62,272 and Sh77,840.

Primary school deputy head teachers were also moved up to grade C5 and Grade C4, earning between Sh52,308 and 65,385.

Senior primary teachers were moved up, to grade C2, to earn between Sh34,955 and 43,694.

Principals of national schools were moved to Grade D5 for salaries of between Sh131,380 and Sh157,656 per month. The pay was also based on the school categories. Principals of extra-county schools moved to grade D5 as their deputies move to D3.

Principals of county schools were moved to grade D4 as those of sub-county boarding schools  rose to Grade D4. Deputies head teachers of county and sub-county schools moved to grades D3 and D2 respectively.

Principals of sub-county day schools moved to group D3 and secondary school senior headmasters moved to Grade D4.

This was based on a newly grading structure for the Teaching Service which ranged from T-Scale 15 (job group D5) for the Chief Principal to T- Scale 5 (B5) for the Primary Teacher II being the lowest grade.

The new evaluation has however retained the grading structure.

Under this grading system adopted after the 2016/2017 job evaluation, P1 which fell under job group G, was scrapped and replaced with grade B5, which became the entry grade for primary school teachers.

Other old grades –J, K, L, M, N – were also re-named C1, C2, C3, C4 and C5 respectively. A higher band of grades previously P, Q and R were renamed D1, D2, and D3 respectively.

Teachers also got additional job groups S and T, which were also renamed D4 and D5.

The current grading favoured school mangers, with classrooms teachers only getting minimal pay.

However, the TSC said it reflected the relative worth of the job and level of responsibility, decision-making and impact.

Yesterday the newly elected Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary-General, Collins Oyuu, sited negotiations with the Teachers’ Service Commission (TSC) as his way of reviving the union.

He made these remarks after his election as the union’s Secretary-General unopposed.

He said negotiations was the only way the union would revive its industrial relationship with the Nancy Macharia-led Teachers’ Service Commission.

“I am confident my entrance to the KNUT leadership will do away with the frustrations teachers have faced in the recent past,” he said.

“The differences between the teachers’ commission and its employer were personal. They were an individual’s opinions and interests,” Oyuu went on.

Oyuu, who took over the reins of the teachers’ union after Sossion’s resignation last Friday, pointed an accusing finger at his predecessor raising questions on his method of leadership.

“For instance, the National Executive Council was not consulted by my predecessor (Wilson Sossion) on most of the decisions he made,” Oyuu revealed.

He went on “We have never met as a council for the Annual General Meetings (AGM) in the last two years,’.

He also attributed the sharp decrease of the Union’s membership to the then poor leadership that did not work in harmony with the employer.

“There are only 16, 000 members presently, from the initial 150, 000 members. Teachers opted out of the Union to get promotions,” he said.

In July last year, it emerged there were some over 90,000 teachers who had pulled out of KNUT as a result of the tiff between the union and the teachers’ employer.

It is understood that the fear of being locked out of the ongoing promotions and the looming deduction to recover money paid to KNUT members following the implementation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement two years ago is behind the mass exit.

The matter was further complicated by primary school heads, who lead institutions with a majority membership of KNUT, disowning the union’s push to fight for them, further isolating the union.

The tutors’ employer deregistered the former Knut Secretary General Wilson Sossion from the teachers’ roll, arguing that the teachers’ code of conduct and ethics required them to maintain political neutrality.

Sossion resigned on Friday, June 25 on grounds he was going to focus on his role in parliament after more than a decade at the helm of the union.

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