The Teachers Service Commission, TSC, has pulled a surprise by inviting teachers’ unions to a meeting to finalize the new 2021-2025 Collective Bargaining Agreement talks. According to a note from the Commission, the meeting is slated for tomorrow at the Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi.
Earlier, the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) had freezed salary increments for teachers and other civil servants for a period of two years. To complicate this further, the Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani had also failed to factor in funds for teachers’ salary increment in the 2021/2022 Budget.
But, there seems to be hope as the Commission rushes to beat the deadline; since the current CBA will come to a close at the end of this month.
TSC Boss Dr. Nancy Macharia says has since dispatched invitation letters to the teachers’ union bosses.
“The Commission has the pleasure to invite the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) to a meeting to be held on Tuesday, 29th June, 2021 at Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi. The meeting will commence at 10.00am, stated TSC ceo Dr. Macharia.” Reads the memo sent to Mr Akello Misori, Secretary General of KUPPET.
Part of the agenda for tomorrow’s meeting shall be: preliminaries, declaration of conflict of interest, tabling of the commission‘s offer, and Negotiating the 2021–2025 CBA.
The meeting comes at a time when Kuppet has threatened of industrial action, if the Commission fails to award teachers a new pay hike.
TSC new salary proposals
It is expected that the Commission will stick to its earlier proposals.
In the proposals, the Commission wants a basic salary increment of between 16 percent and 32 percent; with classroom teachers getting the higher perks.
The 16 percent rise in basic pay should be for teachers in administrative grades (C4 to D5) who reaped big from the 2016-2021 CBA. Classroom teachers in lower grades (B5 to C3) are to be awarded an increment of 30 percent.
But, the teachers’ unions ,Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) and Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET), have constantly opposed these proposals terming them a drop in the ocean.
Earlier, KNUT had proposed a basic pay rise of between 120 and 200 percent, while KUPPET wanted 30 to 70 percent increment.
For allowances, TSC proposed a 20 percent increment in commuter and leave allowances. On its part, house allowance was to be increased by 10 percent. These proposals were by far much lower than what the unions were proposing.
DEMANDS BY KUPPET.
KUPPET was rooting for the expansion of teachers’ allowances so as to include post graduate and township allowances (meant for teachers staying in towns). The union also wanted the Commission to harmonize house allowances for all teachers.
Currently, tutors plying their trade in towns and former municipalities earn higher house allowances as opposed to their counterparts in rural areas. According to Kuppet, harmonization of house allowances should be based on job group as opposed to regions.
Another allowance being fronted by KUPPET was special school allowance to be paid at a rate of Sh15,000 per month.
They also wanted the readers’ facilitation allowance to be reviewed by 30 percent so as the teachers will get Sh.19,500 per month. This allowance is paid to a visually impaired teacher who has engaged a reader whose minimum qualification is not below KCSE D+/KCE Division III. The allowance is paid at a fixed rate determined from time to time by the commission.
Also called facilitation or aid allowance, reader’s allowance is currently paid at a rate of Sh15,000 per month to the blind teachers and those confined to wheel chairs by virtue of their disability.
Still on allowances, KUPPET demanded that leave allowance be paid based on one’s basic pay i.e. an equivalent of one month’s basic pay for all cadres.
KUPPET said the Commission had no scheme of service for teachers who have attained a Masters and Doctorate degrees. Instead, the employer awards three increments to the holders of such qualifications. The proposed scheme seeked to allow TSC recruit teachers possessing post-graduate qualifications at entry level.
The Union demanded that the Post graduate scheme of service be developed and be eligible to all teachers holding a Master’s and Doctorate degree. The said teachers shall then be paid an allowance equivalent to 40% of the basic salary.
Finer details showed that the union was seeking to have a holder of Masters Degree getting an increment of 20 percent that was to be pegged on the basic salary and 40 percent for PHD degree holders.
TSC OFFER ON ALLOWANCES
The Commission was willing to offer an increase of 20 percent for both commuter and leave allowances. It was also keen to retain the current clusters used to determine the teachers’ house allowances but review them upwards by 10 percent.
Also to be retained was to be hardship allowance at the current rates.
Proposals by KUPPET to have the TSC introduce new allowances have fell on deaf ears. The Commission declined the introduction of special school, township and post graduate allowances.
The above proposals are said to have been thrown under the carpet by the Government; sighting hard economic times. The Government is already grappling with a bloated wage bill.