Why SRC proposed better pay for classroom teachers in July CBA

Why SRC proposed better pay for classroom teachers in July CBA

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) has given classroom teachers a major win through a new job evaluation which recognises their huge role in school thus setting stage for higher pay in July when their current Sh54 billion pay deal lapses.

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 Teachers Service Commission (TSC) said it reflected the relative worth of the job and level of responsibility, decision-making and impact.

The good news for classroom teachers however is that results of the 2021/2022 – 2024/2025 remuneration review cycle, which will be used to negotiate the next phase of teachers’ salaries now captures their true worth and outlines an elaborate job description which will form basis for pay negotiations for the 2021/2025 CBA.

Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Secretary General Wilson Sossion has given job evaluation as a condition for the next CBA talks.

“A job evaluation for all classroom teachers who were not properly compensated in the previous CBA is a strong precondition to any progress in the negotiations,” said  Sossion in a letter dated February 23 to TSC.

The new report has also collapsed remuneration of head teachers based on categories of schools, noting this has occasioned serious administrative challenges in appointment, deployment and transfer of teachers.

“TSC’s administrative and contractual mandate to deploy and re-assign institutional administrators has been severely curtailed by the categorization,” reads report.

Under CBC, categorisation of schools as national, extra-county, county and sub-county schools, is being phased out in favour of career pathways of social sciences, arts & sports science and Science Technical Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Also, the new job evaluation recognises their new tasks under the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC), which gives them supervisory roles.

“Introduction of CBC significantly varied the scope and the job content of teachers’ duties and responsibilities, consequently the TSC has developed and submitted more comprehensive JDs on the same,” reads the report.

This means teachers job descriptions will capture their added roles under CBC, handing the classroom teachers a major win in the upcoming talks for the 2021–2025 CBA cycle.

The report says teachers will have increased supervisory roles which were not initially captured in their present job descriptions. It says classroom teachers will now coordinate learning and teaching activities.

They will also supervise to school rules and routines while on duty. They will also supervise learners’ safety and health during practical lessons. They will also supervise school programmes and coordinate subjects in their areas of specialisation.

The report says all primary classroom teachers will provide quality education to learners in primary institutions by facilitating acquisition of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values.

And for secondary classroom teachers, the report says they will provide quality education to learners in post-primary institutions by facilitating acquisition of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values.

Both positions will also responsible for molding and empowering the learner into an ethical citizen in line with the  curriculum and goals of education, reads the report.

The the new job evaluation results also puts teachers at the heart of the next CBA talks, signalling better times ahead. This will now be used by the teachers’ unions to negotiate for higher pay in the new CBA, as the job evaluation report acknowledges teachers have more roles under the CBC.

Knut had proposed a salary increment of between 120 and 200 per cent.

This means the monthly basic salary for the lowest-paid teacher (Grade B5) would be raised from Sh21,756 to a maximum of Sh87,024 while salaries of the highest-paid teachers (Grade D5) would increase from Sh131,380 to a maximum of Sh394,140.

Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) also pitched a salary increment of between 30 and 70 per cent for the new CBA.

If implemented, the proposal would see the lowest-paid teachers’ salaries rise from Sh21,756 to Sh36,985 while those in higher cadres under Job Group D4, who currently earn Sh118,242, take home Sh153,714.

In its recommendation to the SRC, TSC had proposed a raise of between 16 to 32 per cent for all teachers.

In a letter dated September 9, 2020, TSC chief executive Nancy Macharia recommended that teachers below Grade CA to D5 get a 16 per cent salary increment as those in Grade B5 to C3 take home 32 per cent raise.

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