The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has failed to agree with the teachers unions on the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
TSC had invited both the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) at Safari Park Hotel today for negotiatons that was anticipated to lead to tabling of a counter offer.
TSC said there will be no salary increment for teachers due to Covid-19 economic challenges.
TSC pegged the decision to disallow any salary increment for teachers in the public sector to an advisory opinion from the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.
“SRC gave an advisory that there would be no review of the basic salary structures, allowances and benefits paid public sector in the financial year 2021 /2022 — 2022/2023,” TSC CEO Nancy Macharia said.
In line with the SRC directive, TSC has sought to negotiate on other components of the CBA while maintaining the current salary rates.
The proposal was fronted to the unions as discussions for the 2021-2025 Collective Bargaining Agreement began.
However, Kenya National Union of Teachers and Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers rejected the TSC offer in the negotiations, noting it has not included any monetary gains in the CBA.
“Kuppet is reluctant to entertain a CBA with no monetary benefits,” Kuppet secretary general Akelo Misori said in a statement.
Misori said that the union is pushing for a pay rise that would cushion teachers against inflation and the burdens of increased workload under the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).
He confirmed dissatisfaction with the proposed TSC counter offer to the 2021-2025 Collective Bargaining Agreement.
“Given the wide disparities in remuneration across the various cadres in the expiring 2016-2021 CBA, coupled with the sharp inflation in the country, this is the time to review teachers’ salaries,” the statement reads.
Kuppet in a statement termed the content of the proposals by TSC as ‘negligible improvement’ in the working condition of teachers.
This according to Kuppet includes expansion of maternity leave from a period of 90 days to 120.
The commission also proposed fast-tracking of promotions in arid and semi-arid areas.
It also will include the newly passed pre-adoptive leave for parents exploring adoption to bond with their children.
“After the current CBA expires tomorrow, the Kuppet National Governing Council will meet within seven days, to deliberate on incipient vacuum and give directions to our members,” the statement said.
Newly elected Knut Secretary General Collins Oyuu also termed the proposal laughable.
Early this month, SRC chairperson Lyn Mengich issued a statement indicating that they were still on with the CBA negotiation process and that the commission was looking into submissions made by the TSC regarding teachers’ proposals on salary review.
Union officials, however, said there is still uncertainty ahead after the national Treasury failed to factor in teachers’ salary increment in the Budget.
Treasury allocated 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 June 30.
Among TSC proposals is enhancement of maternity and paternity leaves by extended them from 90 days to 120 days and 14 days to 21 days respectively.