The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) is poised to engage in significant discussions with teachers’ unions regarding salary reviews. The meeting aims to revisit the 2021/2025 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that was signed in July 2021, taking into consideration the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Collective Bargaining Agreement was initially signed by multiple stakeholders, including the TSC, the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET), and the Kenya Union of Special Needs Education Teachers (KUSNET). The effects of the pandemic and economic changes have prompted the need to reevaluate the agreement to ensure its continued viability.
In a formal communication dated August 15, the TSC extended an invitation to the unions to participate in the review process. The meeting is scheduled for August 22 at 9.00 am and will convene at the Kenya School of Government in Lower Kabete, Nairobi.
The invitation comes in the wake of a recent announcement by the Salaries And Remuneration Commission (SRC) regarding a proposed seven to ten percent salary increase for civil servants. This raise is expected to be in effect for a two-year period, reflecting the Commission’s efforts to address financial considerations amidst changing economic conditions.
However, Akello Misori, the Secretary-General of KUPPET, expressed reservations about the proposed salary increment of seven to ten percent. He affirmed that the unions’ main agenda during the discussions will encompass various crucial aspects. These include advocating for a substantial basic salary increase of 70 percent, addressing matters related to promotions, enhancing medical benefits, and establishing an improved pension scheme.
Misori emphasized the unions’ commitment to resuming discussions from where the Collective Bargaining Agreement talks had previously stalled. He highlighted that the focus will remain on the initial discussions about salary adjustments. “We shall not slide to new proposals because we had already started talks on the salaries,” Misori asserted.
Regarding the recent recommendation by the SRC to increment state officers’ salaries, Misori conveyed skepticism. He noted the apparent irony of this proposal in light of previous claims by authorities that they lacked the means to enhance teachers’ salaries. Misori emphasized the significance of reviewing teachers’ salaries before considering increases for state officers.
Misori stated, “If any further proof was needed that the government is able to review teachers’ salaries, this SRC recommendation is sufficient.” He underscored the teachers’ perspective that the current salary proposal for state officers contradicts the previous argument of financial constraints when addressing educators’ salaries.
As the TSC and teachers’ unions converge for these critical discussions, the education sector anticipates potential outcomes that will address both the challenges and aspirations of educators in Kenya. With a renewed focus on financial well-being, the unions aim to ensure equitable compensation for teachers and affirm their vital contributions to the education system.