UNION UNDER SIEGE

Knut, TSC clash over bias in pay rise for teachers

Stalemate dates back to July last year when employer adopted two payrolls, one for Knut members and the other for nonmembers.

In Summary

• Kenya National Union of Teachers secretary general Wilson Sossion accused the TSC of running of two payrolls.

• Dispute over how teachers should be promoted under the 2017-2021 CBA remains the root of acrimony between the TSC and the union.

Knut secretary general Wilson Sossion and TSC CEO Nancy Macharia
CONFLICT: Knut secretary general Wilson Sossion and TSC CEO Nancy Macharia
Image: THE STAR

The Kenya National Union of Teachers and the tutors' employer have again locked horns over the implementation of a 2017 pay deal.  

The current stalemate dates back to July 2019 when the Teachers Service Commission adopted two parallel payrolls, one for members of Knut and the other for nonmembers.

A dispute over how teachers should be promoted under the 2017-2021 CBA remains the root of acrimony between the TSC and Knut.

The CBA details how the commission would promote teachers in its payroll within four years. The government ring-fenced Sh54 billion for this purpose.

On Wednesday, Knut secretary general Wilson Sossion accused the TSC of running two payrolls.

“Any negotiated terms apply to all registered teachers under employment of the TSC. We can never negotiate exclusive terms for our members,” Sossion said.

Sossion also accused the TSC of attempting to replace the age-old promotion criteria — Schemes of Service — with the Career Progression Guidelines introduced in 2018.

“Any new parameters of managing or controlling teachers should be contained in the Code of Regulation and consequently taken to Parliament for approval. As long as it is not in the Code of Regulation, then it is not law and cannot affect teachers whatsoever,” Sossion said.

He spoke at the Knut headquarters in Nairobi.

Schemes of Service were guidelines used to promote teachers before signing of the CBA. It involves promoting teachers using three categories (certificate, diploma and degree) based on qualifications and experience.

However, the TSC rejected those promotion criteria as not meaningful and shifted to the ‘responsibility and job worth model’, known as Career Progression Guideline (CPG).

In January 2019, the court issued restraining orders against implementation of the new promotion criteria, among other issues.

The impact of the court decision, TSC says, meant some teachers lost a promotion benefit package under the CBA.

Specifically, under the CPG, teachers formerly designated as P1 and who were promoted to B5 effective from July 1, 2017, would not be promoted under common cadre to C1 on July 1, 2020.

This was because promotion of Knut members should strictly be according to the Schemes of Service.

The TSC in a previous communique said teachers who are members of the Knut shall be selected to undertake Teachers Proficiency Courses (TPC) upon payment of a requisite fee so as to be considered for promotion.

Edited by Henry Makori