The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has placed a demand for a 60 per cent salary increase for teachers as per the 2021-2025 collective bargaining agreement.
The union secretary general Collins Oyuu stated that teachers’ pay was last reviewed in 2016/2017.
He outlined that most of Knut members are P1 whose grade is B5.
He called for a review of the 2021-25 collective bargaining agreement, which was signed with non-monetary benefits.
“The teachers received the last salary increment in two phases-2016/2017 and 2017/2018 since the increase they were awarded was minimal it was fully paid in two instalments,” Oyuu said.
The remaining grades were paid in four instalments. The last CBA expired in 2021.
In July 2021, the unions in the public sector signed a cashless CBA out of the advice by the Salary and Remuneration Commission (SRC) for non-monetary CBAs due to the effects of Covid-19 on the country’s economy.
However, Oyuu said there was an agreement that we would revise the CBA signed after one year.
“Due to this fact we have made a demand for a 60 per cent salary increment across the board,” he said.
The union boss said teachers have not been compensated for a rise in the cost of living since July 1, 2017.
“Going by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KBNS), the annual inflation rate stood at 9.6 per cent as at the end of October 2020,” Oyuu said.
This, he said, has risen steadily so it can be projected at 10 per cent as of the end of November 2020.
The SG noted that given that for six years, teachers have not received a pay rise, to compensate them for the years.
“It is fair to extrapolate the annual rate of inflation over the six years (2020-2025), translating to a 60 per cent-cumulative rate of inflation.
The union said they have considered all the issues surrounding the CBA 2021-2025 on the basis of 60 per cent, and taking the highest salary band per grade.
Through consensus, they have proposed a basic salary increase of 60 per cent across all the grades.
With the 60 per cent salary increase demand, a grade D5 teacher currently earning Sh 157, 656 will get Sh 252, 249 after a 60 per cent salary increase.
The grade D4 teacher who earns Sh121, 890 will take home Sh 195, 024 while those in grade D3 and grade D2 who earn Sh 104,644 and Sh 91,0401 will be earning Sh 167, 430 and Sh 145, 665 respectively.
The grade D1 and C5 teachers who earn Sh 85,269 and Sh 64, 631 will get Sh 136, 430 and Sh 103, 409 respectively. Grade C4 earning Sh 52,308 will get Sh 83 692 while grade C3 who earns Sh 53, 943 will get Sh86, 308.
The teachers in grades C2 and C1 earning Sh 43, 694 and Sh 33, 694 are anticipated to get Sh 69, 910 and Sh 53, 910 respectively while B5 earning Sh 27, 195 will get Sh 43, 512.
Besides salary increments, teachers want Teachers’ Professional Development (TPD) suspended.
Oyuu said they recommended to the presidential working party that the rollout of TPD be suspended and that the Ministry of Education should concentrate on capacity building of teachers on the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).
In 2013, TPD was structured and rolled out in accordance with the TSC Act 2012.
Subsequently, it was integrated into the reviewed code of regulations for teachers (CORT) 2017.
During the negotiations of the 2016-2017 CBA, Oyuu said the TPD structure served as a beacon for discussions.
“Rolling out of TPD has caused a lot of ripples and anxiety amongst the teachers,” he added.
TPD seeks to help teachers renew their professional certificates every five years.
On teacher promotion, the union said there is a need to review the policies on the same.
Currently, teachers are promoted based on appraisal mode and not the qualifications achieved.
“No teacher should lose financially out of being transferred or promoted. It is ironic when one is promoted and then they lose some benefits they really worked hard for,” he said.
Oyuu said they have written to the commission on teachers’ stagnation and promotions, which has promised to address the matters.
“As a union, including our elected parliamentarian members, we are so concerned about promotion and the welfare of teachers in general,” he said.