Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary-General Wilson Sossion, on Friday, May 28, raised concern on the delay facing the discussion and implementation of the 2021-2025 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
Sossion argued that the current CBA (2017-2021) ends in July 2021 putting teachers in a precarious position. The TSC has not invited teachers for negotiations with fears that the government is facing a shortage of funds.
All teachers are at risk of missing out on salary increments and promotions in July 2021 after negotiations between the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and teachers unions stalled.
“There is currently no new CBA for teachers. They will, therefore, miss their salary increment and promotions,” Sossion lamented while heaping pressure on TSC to face teachers before the deadline arrives.
He also urged TSC to issue directives on how it would avert the situation in case negotiations fail to take place between the conflicting parties.
Kenya Union of Post Primary Teachers (KUPPET) on its end stated that TSC reached out to them for negotiations.
On the other hand, the Kenya Union of Special Needs Education teachers (KUSNET) Secretary-General, James Torome, stated that they were ready to meet TSC to lay down a strategy for the 2021-2025 CBA.
“We are yet to be invited by TSC and we are patiently waiting to receive a counter offer or communication on the way forward,” he stated.
KNUT and TSC have been at loggerheads since 2020 over the 2021-2025 CBA agreement. The union once threatened to conduct an industrial strike after TSC declined to meet their demands.
“TSC should not put us in the collision course with the government, and disrupt the industrial peace in the teaching service by engaging in mischievous and illegal ways of conceiving, negotiating and implementing the CBA,” Sossion said in November 2020.
These developments come at a time when TSC is changing its recruitment approach. The commission scrapped the Bachelor of Education degree and directed teachers to pursue a Bachelor of Arts course or a Bachelor of Science for three years.
Thereafter, they will be required to study a postgraduate course for one year before they are cleared to apply for a TSC number.
“TSC should have involved KNUT, which is a teachers’ union. The demands by TSC are a violation of the terms and conditions of employment,” Sossion lamented while defending teachers.