What Knut should do fast to save its members ahead of CBA 2021-2023 signing

What Knut should do fast to save its members ahead of CBA 2021-2023 signing

TSC July payslips were officially released yesterday with some teachers crying and others rejoicing over July payrise.

TSC had assured teachers teachers earlier this month that teachers will be paid for the entire period schools are closed. TSC had also said the much anticipated CBA phase four was intact and would be paid this month. Indeed TSC has honored what it vowed and teachers have received this month salaries with increament.

However another group belonging to the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) have nothing to smile about after missing first, second, third and now forth phase of CBA which is paid to school administrators. Teachers who were to get automatic promotions based on Career Progression Guidelines (CPG) also were not featured because of belonging to KNUT.

Around 96,000 teachers in job grade B5 have been promoted to job grade C1 with those at bar of kshs 27,195 at B5 now earning kshs 28,755 in C1. A C4 teacher received a basic salary of kshs 55,604 from the previous kshs 52,308 earning. A total of 29,782 teachers fall in C1 (Primary teacher I and secondary teachers II) while 19,439 fall in C2 (secondary teacher II and secondary teacher UT and Primary special need education teacher). The promotions are based on CPG but Knut members have missed on what TSC has termed implementing a court order.

TSC is expected to initiate a process that will see signing of a fresh CBA that will run from 2021 to 2023 between it and the teachers unions. In the new CBA the lowest teacher in grade B5 will have the basic salary rise to kshs 30,405 in 2021 then to kshs 32,994 in 2021 and finally kshs 33,994 in 2023 which will be the final phase. The change will also be effected in allowances, for example a teacher working in Kisumu, Kisii, Mombasa or Eldoret which are classified as manicipalities had their house allowances raised from kshs 4,500 to kshs 7500 FOR job grade B5. Those in Nairobi the amount roseto kshs 10,000 from previous kshs 6,750 in B5.

But Knut members have been missing any salary increment targeting teachers and this recent one has raised eyebrows on the future of the union members.

TSC while taking on questions on salaries and frequent court cases that tainted its image said it has created parallel payrolls for Knut members and Non-Knut members based on the court outcomes. All Knut members were placed on the old Schemes of Service while the Non-Knut members were placed in the new Career Progression Guidelines. Answering frequent asked questions TSC responded as below in 2019.

What is the effect of the Judgment on the teaching service?

The current stalemate has divided the teaching service into two with two parallel payrolls.

When will the judgment be implemented and for which period will it affect?

The judgment takes effect from 12/7/2019 to perpetuity.

What is the impact of the court Judgment on promotion of teachers?

•     The immediate consequence of the Court judgment with regard to teacher promotion is that some major promotional benefits that had been achieved through the CPO have been lost. Specifically, under the CPG, teachers formerly designated as Pl  and who were promoted to B5 with effect from  l· July 2017  will not be promoted under common cadre to CI on 1 July 2020.  This is because promotion of teachers who are members of the KNUT shall strictly be as per the provisions of the Schemes of Service.

•   Teachers  who  are  members  of  the  KNUT  shall  be  selected  to  undertake  Teachers Proficiency  Courses  (TPC)  upon payment  of requisite  fee  so as  to be considered  for promotion from P 1    to ATS IV as was the case prior to l /7/2017.

This simply means all Knut members are now under Schemes of Service therefore for them to be promoted they must go though Teacher Proficiency Courses (TPC) for them to be considered for a payrise or alternatively they can get promoted on higher qualifications based on availability of funds.

However whats more disturbing is that Knut executive secretary Mr Wilson has been deregistered and TSC has held a strict position that it will never engage a deregistered teacher in any consultations. This makes the future of Knut members bleak and tottered.

Knut membership has shrinked since the wars between it and TSC started last year. Most teachers chose to opt out of the union not to miss in TSC promotions and salary increments. Currently Knut membership is said to be below thirty thousand the once vibrant teachers union has now been reduced to a shell.

But who will engage the employer for the benefit of members now that its executive secretary has been deregistered and TSC has insisted never to engage him. There is only one way out into this standoff. Mr Wilson Sossion can step aside and allow another top official to take charge of the union to champion the interest of teaachers.

In August last year Kuppet was invited for a talk with the employer which would see a total of 38,000 diploma holders teaching in secondary schools getting promoted. Knut has never held any fruitful meeting with employer with most of the battles ending in court. This is not a good move and will have further repercussions on teachers who are already inflicted for being members of the union. Mr Sossion should tone down the war and seek alternative ways on how the employer can be engaged in way that can benefit its members and ultimately restore faith in the union.

Knut should also strategies on how this coming CBA will benefit most of its members rather than a select few. The last CBA 2017-2021 only benefited teachers who are school administrators while leaving the lowest cadre with nothing yet they are the majority. Knut top brass should also unite and stop wrangles that are detrimental to members.

Author Michael Musumba

These views here in are solely for the author and not Teachers Arena

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