NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 13 – Teacher Unions including Kenya Union of Post Primary Teachers (KUPPET), Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), and Kenya Union of Special Needs Education Teachers (KUSNET) signed a non-monetary 2021-2025 Collective Bargaining Agreement on Tuesday proposing prolonged parental leave among other benefits.
The unions which held day-long negotiations with the Teachers Service Commission signed the CBA despite having declined to do so during the first meeting held in June 29, for lack of monetary benefits.
KUPPET Secretary General Akello Misori said the unions had agreed to sign the CBA as it is, but promised members that a review on the basic pay would be undertaken after TSC is given a go ahead by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.
Misori said it was a difficult decision to make but said beside the contentious remuneration issue, there are other benefits contained in the agreement which teachers will be able to enjoy.
“We have committed to subscribe to the CBA but the issue of basic pay remains un addressed. We hope to meet with TSC in the near future and have a review in regards to what we had proposed when things improve,” stated Misori.
KUPPET was seeking 30 to 70 per cent increment on the basic pay.
Misori’s KNUT counterpart Collins Oyuu said despite the lack of remuneration component, teachers had other gains to benefit from the signed CBA.
“I wish to tell our teachers that hope is still there, I want to assure them that there is room to have basic pay reviewed when the economy improves,” said Oyuu.
KUSNET Secretary General James Torome said they expect the Commission to invite them for a review within one year.
TSC CEO Nancy Macharia lauded the unions for accepting the offer, saying they had put the interest of learners and teachers first.
Macharia said the Commission was open for a review, after they are given a go ahead by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.
The Salaries and Remuneration Commission imposed a 2 -year ban on salary hikes for employees in the public service.
“As you are aware, we acted on the SRC advisory, and with the prevailing economic situation in the country we gave teachers what was available, but there is room for review if things get better,” she said.
Benefits contained in the CBA include extension of maternity and paternity leave days, with maternity leave extended to 120 days from 90 days. Paternity leave will take 21 days up from 14 days.