The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has asked the Teachers’ Service Commission (TSC) to immediately start negotiations for the (2021/2023) Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). They say the CBA is threatened and risks not being factored into the 2021/2022 financial year budget.
Knut National Assistant Treasurer Ali Abdi Hussein says TSC was conducting itself weirdly over the CBA talks. Addressing teachers during the Kakamega North Knut branch election, Hussein said the 2021/2023 CBA had stalled while the current one (2017/2021) was set to expire in June.
“TSC has all of a sudden suspended the implementation of the CBA midstream and refused to constitute a panel to engage union officials,” said Hussein.
He said that was a gross violation of the Labour Relations Act (2007) and the Code of Regulations for Teachers (2015). He warned the delay means the new salaries and allowances will not reflect in the new financial year report as they will be deemed behind schedule.
Hussein said it was unconstitutional for TSC to handle the CBA single handedly and forward the proposals to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC)
“The last CBA did not favour class teachers and they were evaluated poorly together with semi skilled and support staff despite some of the teachers having acquired relevant and professional qualifications,” said Hussein.
Knut is now pushing for correction of the mess in the 3rd CBA and hope that soon TSC will see the need to engage them over the same.
Hussein added that they had suggested to have a two cycle CBA from the initial four cycle to enable the union make amends on the agreement whenever need arises. The official also defended teachers against being in school on weekends saying it was their right to observe and obey their religious backgrounds.
Hussein also said teachers were entitled to engage in national issues including ongoing Building Bridges Initiative
“Education is a fundamental human right aimed fully developing personality and promote mutual understanding, friendship and peace hence need for teachers to support the BBI referendum” said Hussein.
He also criticized the move by the Ministry of Education to employ school mangers besides school heads to be in charge of free primary education (FPE) and infrastructure funds.
He described the move as a breeding ground for conflict between the two sets of management as was already being experienced between County Education Directors and their TSC counterparts.