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Teachers want CBA payment plan renegotiated

 

Teachers devised ways to cool off as they followed proceedings on the third day of the 42nd Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association annual meeting at the Mombasa Wild Waters Park, yesterday. [Gideon Maundu, Standard]

Teachers want the four-year collective bargaining agreement (CBA) renegotiated.

This comes after it emerged that if the Sh54 billion salary deal between teachers and the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) is implemented as it is, it will not benefit the tutors.

Officials of the two teachers’ unions yesterday said the four-year payment plan would disadvantage teachers and called for a shorter period.

Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Secretary General Wilson Sossion said they signed the payment schedule on condition that there will be room to re-look the time frames.

“That was a working document and we shall negotiate a shorter period because four years is a long period. International practice says that any CBA that goes beyond two years, workers get disadvantaged,” said Mr Sossion.

Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) Secretary General Akello Misori called for social dialogue in some aspects of the CBA.

“We seek this so that the sections of the CBA do not come to haunt teachers later,” said Mr Misori.

The Kuppet boss said challenges of inflation will eat into what teachers would have acquired as part of the pay deal.

The concerns were raised in Mombasa during the 42nd Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (Kessha) annual meeting.

After intense negotiations of the payment plan, the Government agreed to release Sh17.3 billion of the agreed Sh54 billion to uplift classroom teachers with the implementation period spread to 2021.

The deal with Teachers Service Commission (TSC) shows two separate payment plans for classroom teachers and staffs in management positions.

In phases

“The implementation will be in two phases for teachers currently in job group H, J and K and in four phases for those in job group L to R,” said Lydia Nzomo, TSC chairperson.

This means that under the new grading system that ranges from B5 to D5, teachers earning between Sh21,757 and Sh43,694 will get their increment implemented in two phases.

And those under job group C3 to D5 who earn between Sh43,154 and Sh157,656 will have their increment effected in four phases.

Ms Nzomo said in addition to these, the terms and conditions of service have also been improved noting that old scales based on job groups have been phased out and replaced with new ones.

She further noted that responsibilities held by teachers in learning institutions have been recognised and remunerated appropriately.

But union officials who also included Kuppet national chairman, Omboko Milemba, want the implementation period for the new CBA reduced and paid in a much shorter period.

The implementation is expected to start from July 1 and all teachers in employment of the commission as at July 2017 will benefit.

Curriculum reforms

On curriculum reforms, the two teachers unions urged the Government not to hasten the adoption of the new education curriculum or implementation without adequate consultations.

The officials said the change to competence-based curriculum is not an easy undertaking.

They noted that although they support curriculum reforms, there was no need to hurry its implementation.

“You cannot pilot a programme before you have prepared and tested it. 2018 will be the ideal time to test materials for the new curriculum. Teachers must be well trained on which design syllabus to follow,” Sossion said.

He said an attempt to do the same in South Africa and Malaysia failed miserably. “What we require is more consultations with key stakeholders to make the move effective and possible to implement,” he said.

He said the economics of the new curriculum requires at least Sh40 billion to fully implement. 

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