KNUT Official Reveals What Transpired In CBA 2021-2025 Reviews Talks
The Deputy Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) secretary-general has revealed what transpired during the meeting between the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and the teachers’ union.
Hesbon Otieno, the KNUT Deputy Secretary-General said that talks regarding salary increments as well as other issues affecting teachers were discussed and concluded.
“We had a cordial discussion that ended on Friday and we successfully concluded our meeting with TSC,” said Otieno while being applauded by teachers.
However, Otieno did not reveal the Commission’s offer and what was agreed on.
KNUT held a meeting with the Commission last week led by KNUT Secretary-General Collins Oyuu over a possible deal that would mean a pay rise by the end of this month.
Together with the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Teachers (KUPPET) have been pushing for a review of the Collective-Bargaining Agreement (CBA) signed in July last year that did not contain any monetary gains for teachers.
Even though the CBA did contain any monetary gains, KNUT officials have been expressing optimism that a review can be done to include a salary increment.
Otieno revealed that the talks regarding the CBA will be revealed in public this week led by Secretary-General Collins Oyuu.
“We will reveal information at the right time. The secretary-general himself will speak and the whole of the republic will know the discussion we are having with the Teachers Service Commission,” revealed Otieno.
The 2021-2025 CBA did contain some good items that pleased teachers with maternity and paternity leave being guaranteed to take 90 to 120 days for female teachers and 14 to 21 days for male teachers.
The CBA also included the promotion of teachers working in the Arid and Semi-arid areas (ASAL) that are hard to staff.
On her part the TSC Chief Executive Officer while addressing the nation following the signing of the 2021-2025 CBA revealed that the CBA could undergo review once the country recovers economically.
TSC said that the reason any salary increment was not allowed for teachers in the public section was due to an advisory opinion from the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).
“SRC advised that there would be no review of the basic salary structures, allowances, and benefits paid in the public sector in the financial year 2021/2022 – 2022/2023,” Dr. Nancy Macharia had said.
KNUT is now pushing for a pay rise of 15-20% and Oyu also wants a review of commuter and house allowances to match the rising inflation that is affecting the country.
On the other hand, KUPPET wants the lowest-paid teacher to have a pay rise from Kshs. 34,955 to Kshs. 59,425 and that of the highest-paid increased from 118,242 to Kshs. 153,715.
In addition, the union also wants commuter allowance to be raised from Kshs. 5,000 to Kshs. 8,500 for the low cadre teachers and Kshs. 16,000 to Kshs. 20,000 for the highest-paid teachers.
at the moment teachers, just like all Kenyans are struggling with inflation and the rising cost of living with their payslips shrinking leading to some resorting to committing suicide. For instance, one primary school teacher committed suicide in Kandongu village in Kirinyaga County.
Following investigations, it was found that the teacher had jumped into a well on Tuesday leaving behind a suicide note detailing why she decided to take her life.
“The suicide note indicated that Ms. Karuria was fed up with life. She revealed that she had a lot of debts that should be cleared by her two sons. She also instructed her sons to share her property equally,” revealed Mr. Wilson Koskei who is the Mwea West Sub-County police boss.
Another issue that was discussed was the Teacher Professional Development (TPD) training and promotion of primary school teachers to teach in Junior Secondary School (JSS).
The Commission has insisted that teachers have to meet the requirements for deployment to secondary schools.
KNUT is also pushing the Commission to allow primary school teachers with a degree in secondary option but with grade C (plain) in their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) to teach in junior secondary.
The union is also holding talks regarding Parliament’s recommendations which ordered the promotion of teachers who upgraded their certificates.
However, the Commission has defended itself in support of its decision to adopt Career Progression Guidelines, saying that the previous way of promotion of teachers had become unfeasible with many teachers graduating with various qualifications.
According to the MPs, teachers who have acquired diplomas, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degree while in service should be promoted.
TSC intends to use the TPD as a tool for promoting teachers and has also maintained that the requirements for deploying PTE teachers stay in junior secondary.
According to TSC, for a primary school teacher to be deployed to teach at the junior secondary school level, he or she must;
- Be a Kenyan citizen
- Be a holder of a P1 certificate;
- Be a holder of a Bachelor’s Degree in Education with 2 teaching subjects;
- Must have attained at least a C+ (Plus) mean grade at the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) or its equivalent and C+ (Plus) or its equivalent in the two teaching subjects;
- Must be serving under the Teachers Service Commission.