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TSC Sets the Last CBA Review Agreement With Unions

TSC Sets the Last CBA Review Agreement With Unions

The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) will today, August 22, submit its wage offer for teachers as teachers’ unions get ready to put out their own set of proposals for the review of their collective bargaining agreement (CBA) for the years 2021–2025.

The Commission started deducting third-party costs from teachers’ August paychecks yesterday, including Sacco, union dues, loans, and insurance premiums.

To pay full wage with an increase in August, TSC wants to achieve an agreement with the unions this week.

It is still unclear if TSC will apply the CBA 2021-2025 to the day it started, July 1, 2021, retroactively.

If the salary negotiations drag on, teachers’ August paychecks may be postponed.

The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) have both been summoned by the TSC to discuss the CBA less than a week after the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) authorized a 7% to 10% pay hike for state employees.

Union officials, however, have rejected the percentage rise and are requesting a larger pay hike due to high taxes.

This letter serves as an invitation to a meeting with the TSC scheduled for August 22, 2023 at 9 a.m. to evaluate the 2021–2025 CBA between the TSC and Kuppet. According to TSC, the meeting would take place at the Kenya School of Government.

Both Knut and Kuppet support evaluating base pay as well as benefits.

The commission and the unions seek to assess the non-monetary CBA that was established in 2021 due to the unstable economic environment.

A pay hike of 70%, which is ten times bigger than the SRC’s greatest recommendation, is one of the many topics Kuppet has advised reexamining.

Before meeting with TSC today, Kuppet delegates under the direction of Secretary-General Akelo Misori spent hours in a meeting finalizing their requests.

He told the Nation, when asked what was on the agenda for their meeting, “We are meeting the TSC tomorrow (today).”

According to Kuppet Mombasa executive secretary Lynette Khamadi, their primary demand is a 30–70% increase in basic pay.

The unionist also pointed out that statutory deductions like those for the National Health Insurance Fund had increased. Kuppet is reportedly pushing for a 30 to 70% pay increase due to the high cost of living, the introduction of NSSF (National Social Security Fund) deductions, to which we were not contributing, and the housing levy.

“The SRC’s 10% wage rise promise is ridiculous; when all these regulatory deductions are taken out of a teacher’s pay check, there isn’t even a Sh500 raise. Due to the stagnation of many instructors, notably diploma teachers who have remained at C2, we also need promotions. Even if they get degrees, TSC does not allow them to advance,” the lady alleged.

On the other hand, Knut asks their employer to increase salaries, especially for the lowest cadres, citing the difficulties that the rising cost of living has caused them to face.

After the Finance Act 2023 was passed and the cost of living increased, Secretary-General Collins Oyuu indicated that remuneration must be reviewed in order to shield employees from the effects of the new tax legislation.

Mr. Oyuu claims that the unions were summoned to a meeting by the TSC due to the raise that the SRC had recommended.

High Hopes For Teachers As TSC Calls For A Review Of The CBA From 2021 to 2025

We must talk about it to give it a legal perspective. You are aware that instructors are not cane cutters to whom you can simply say, “I have increased your pay by Sh5”, when you wake up. He described the procedure we must follow in order to carry out this.

Since the 2017–2021 CBA made numerous allusions to and provided benefits for head teachers, their deputies, principals, and deputy principals, how the SRC handled this is what most interests us. They grouped together a group they called classroom instructors, Mr. Oyuu continued, as though there were other teachers in the restroom.

Non-administrative teachers, according to the union president, are not covered under the 2017–2021 CBA. However, he noted that Knut wants these professors to be given preference when the 2021–2025 CBA is evaluated for a pay raise.

Final CBA Review Agreement on TSC’s Table with Unions

He believed that the lowest paid teacher should have the largest percentage raise, while the highest paid teacher should see the smallest. The primary school teacher in the D5 employment group who earns the most money has a basic income of Sh131,380, while the teacher in the B5 job group who earns the least money has a basic income of Sh21,756.

We must concur because this will be a collective agreement; therefore, before expressing our ideas, adjustments, deletions, and additions, we want to carefully review how TSC has set out their table. We will also ask TSC to assess the CBA exactly as it is. You should be aware that it was a cashless CBA. We recognized this and used TSC less as a result of the SRC’s recommendations, which said that no public sector union received a monetary CBA.

Also read: A TSC Important Message for All Teachers Who Were Not Promoted

TSC will propose their ideas to us before we make a counteroffer in response. Our argument would center on the 7 to 10%, which should be Sh21 billion for both the public sector and educators. Not a lot of money, said Mr. Oyuu.

He asserted that the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which further weakened the unions, had occurred. However, Knut claims that now that the economy has improved, they are ready to review the monetary component of the CBA.

Knut will also go over the recommendations of the Presidential Working Group on Education Reform. The union is contesting the task force’s proposal to demote non-graduate primary school leaders, calling it “one of the worst” labor practices.

If the task force’s recommendations are implemented, thousands of primary school head teachers without advanced degrees may be demoted in January of the following year. For a transitional period that ends on December 31, headteachers of primary schools that function as junior secondary schools (JSS) will be in charge of them under the regulations.

Although the CBA also makes reference to a recognition agreement and we must be clear enough to accept the suggestions of the Presidential Working Group on Education Reforms, the issue of demotions for head teachers without degrees is unimportant. Simply explained, as administrative roles are frequently substantive posts, you cannot be demoted from one; rather, you can only be forced to resign for other reasons, as allowed by the constitution.

According to Mr. Oyuu, Knut would insist on giving head teachers without degrees time to complete the more advanced degree.

The task group advises the creation of comprehensive schools in order to house the current nursery, primary, and JSS in one structure with a single head teacher.

The Ministry of Education has granted permission for the bulk of Kenya’s more than 23,000 public elementary schools to host JSS.

For senior instructors who will answer to the head, the government and TSC must create criteria. It is expected that head teachers who are unqualified to run comprehensive schools will be given more manageable responsibilities.

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