Its a windfall for teachers who are members of the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) after behind the scene maneuvers by union officials seems to bear fruits.
Knut members have not been enjoying twice the benefits of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) 2017 – 2021 because of the tiff between the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and Knut since 2019.
However details have emerged that Knut and TSC have struck a deal that will see the teachers enjoy a salary increment in August 2021.
TSC will backdate the payment for the teachers to enjoy the two increments which they missed.
This means that Knut members will have a total pay rise of between Sh8,000 and Sh15,000, back dated to cover the last two years (2019 and 2020) they missed out as their counterparts in other unions enjoyed salary increase.
Full implementation of 2017-2021 CBA saw teachers who were previously on job group B5 earning a basic salary of Sh21,345, movedto C1 with a salary increment of about Sh8,000.
Allowances for these teachers were also increased tremendously. They enjoyed a new house allowance of Sh4,200, commuter of Sh4,000 and hardship allowance of Sh8,200.
It is important to note that head teachers and their deputies who were Knut members also lost greatly under the last phase of the CBA.
For example, a head teacher who was earning Sh45,000 in June 2019 now earns Sh62,272 as their Knut counterparts salaries remained unchanged.
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) will meet teachers union officials next week to iron out issues that aborted last Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) negotiations.
Knut leadership led by Collins Oyuu has asked teachers to rejoin the union and have confidence in its leadership.
TSC opened the TPAY portal this week for teachers to join or leave any union or association.
Knut Deputy Secretary-General Hesbon Otieno said opening the TPAY portal is the first step to restoring the union.
“Teachers who believe in the union and the new team now have a chance to come back. This even as we still engage the employer on other ways of navigating these challenges,” said Otieno.
He said the union will aggressively embark on a drive to bring back its members.
This means teachers who will be inspired by the new leadership at Knut may wish to return to the union, whose numbers have dropped to about 16,000 members.
New Knut leadership has suffered a blow since it had hoped that TSC would restore union members’ roll as it were in June 2019.
By this time, Knut had some 187,471 members, giving the union some Sh144 million in union dues.
TSC invites unions for talks at Safari Park Hotel
TSC has invited teachers unions for further negotiations that could lead to signing of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
“The Commission has the pleasure to invite the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) to a meeting to be held from Tuesday 13th July 2021 at Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi. The meeting will commence at 11.00 am,” read an invitation by Nancy Macharia to Knut Secretary General.
TSC outlined three agendas of the meeting as follows;
b) Declaration of conflict of interest and
c) Negotiating and signing the 2021 – 2025 CBA.
TSC failed to agree with the two teachers unions, Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet), during the first round of negotiations last month.
Kuppet had issued a seven days ultimatum for TSC to table a CBA offer that includes monetary value for its members or they paralyse learning when schools reopen for first term in July.
Last week TSC reacted by opening the doors for further negotiations that will lead to signing of a new agreement.
TSC CEO Dr. Nancy Macharia said that the Commission is confident that the unions will go back to the negotiation table to finalise the CBA process.
“Our doors of dialogue will forever remain wide open for further negotiations. We are confident that the unions will come back to the negotiation table to finalise this critical process for the interest of the Kenyan child and the teachers of this country,” said Macharia on Friday 2 July.
Some of the changes these teachers should expect is also in allowances as highlighted below.
|Job group||Grade||T/Scale||Hardship allowance||Commuter allowance||Annual leave allowance|
During the last meeting TSC had tabled a CBA which excluded pay changes for teachers thus leading to a standoff.
According to TSC their decision to disallow any salary increment for teachers is informed by 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 after meeting teachers union officials at Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi .
TSC said there will be no salary increment for teachers due to Covid-19 economic challenges the country has suffered but will negotiate on other components of the CBA while maintaining the current salary rates as advised by SRC.
The two teachers unions, Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet), rejected this move that ended further negotiations.
They said any negotiations on new CBA must include monetary gains for its members.
Kuppet had submitted its salaries and allowances benefits proposals for its members but Knut failed because it had new officials in office just a day to negotiations.
Kuppet Secretary General Akelo 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).
“Kuppet is reluctant to entertain a CBA with no monetary benefits,” Akelo Misori said in a statement.
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.
“After the current CBA expires (today), the Kuppet National Governing Council will meet within seven days, to deliberate on incipient vacuum and give directions to our members,” the statement said.
Some of the TSC proposals in the new CBA are;
- Expansion of maternity leave from a period of 90 days to 120.
- Expansion of paternity leave from a period of 14 days to 21.
- Fast-tracking of promotions in arid and semi-arid areas.
- Pre-adoptive leave for parents exploring adoption to bond with their children
Newly elected Knut Secretary General Collins Oyuu termed the proposal laughable.
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 Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) froze salary reviews for 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.