The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) is set to meet with officials of the main teachers’ unions in the coming week to discuss further on the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

TSC has called in teachers unions for more talks that could lead to the signing of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)

“The Commission has invited the Kenya Union of Special Needs Education Teachers (KUSNET) to a meeting to be held as from Tuesday the 13th of July 2021 at the Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi. The meeting will start at 11:00 am,” read Dr. Nancy Macharia’s invitation to KUSNET Secretary-General.

TSC gave the three agendas of the meeting as follows:

Preliminaries
Declaration of conflict of interest
Negotiating and signing the 2021 – 2025 CBA.

TSC did not come to an agreement with the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET), during the first round of negotiations in June.

KUPPET then issued a seven days ultimatum to the Teachers Service Commission to present an offer of a new CBA that comprises of a salary increment or they shall paralyze learning in the first term of the 2021 academic year which starts this July.

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In the past week, TSC responded by encouraging further negotiations to strike an agreement.

The TSC CEO Dr. Nancy Macharia said that the Commission is confident that the unions will go back to the negotiation table to agree on the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

“Our doors of dialogue will forever remain wide open for further negotiations. We are confident that the unions will come back for further negotiations to finalize the critical process for the interest of the Kenyan Child and teachers in this country,” said Dr. Nancy Macharia.

In the last meeting, TSC had offered a CBA that did not have any changes in pay for teachers leading to no agreement being struck.

The Commissiondecided to offer a CBA without any increment in salary for teachers as it revealed that the decision has been arrived at following input from the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).

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“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,” TSC CEO Nancy Macharia said after discussions with the new teachers’ union officials at the Safari Park Hotel, located in Nairobi.

Besides, TSC said that there will be no salary increment for teachers because of the economic recession that COVID-19 has caused across the country. However, the Commission revealed that it was willing to negotiate on other components of the CBA while maintaining the current rates of salary as per the advice of the SRC.

TSC also proposed the fast-tracking of promotions in arid and semi-arid areas. Besides, they included the newly passed pre-adoptive leave for parents who wish to bond with their children.

“After the current CBA expires tomorrow, the KUPPET National Governing Council will meet within seven days, to deliberate on the incipient vacuum and give directions to our members,” said a statement from the union.

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The newly elected KNUT Secretary General Collins Oyuu on his part termed the proposal as laughable.

Earlier in the month, SRC Chairperson Lyn Mengich issued a statement indicating that they were still going on with the CBA negotiation process and that the SRC was looking at the submissions that TSC made as far as teachers’ proposals on salary review were concerned.

However, union officials said there is still uncertainty in the future as the National Treasury did not factor in the teachers’ salary increments in the Budget.

In the Budget, the Treasury set aside Sh. 588 billion to the Ministry of Education in the 2021/2022 financial year. Concerning the CBA for the years 2021-2026, no funds were allocated.

The Current CBA expires tomorrow the 30th of June 2021.

Enhancement of maternity and paternity leaves from 90 to 120 days and 14 to 21 days were among the TSC’s proposals in the discussions.

With the two teachers’ unions, KNUT and KUPPET rejecting this proposal, further negotiations ended.

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