TSC Teachers’ Salaries 2021: How Teachers’ Unions “went to bed with the powers that be,” leaving classroom teachers to their own mechanisms; Latest TSC News
That classroom teachers are not protected by the Current TSC Constitution is not news.
Many a time, classroom teachers have been framed in indiscipline cases by the “powers that be.”
We have heard of many disciplinary cases where innocent teachers lose their jobs or get transfered to far-flung stations simply because they are “not in good terms with heads, principals or deputies.”
This is where I pause and wonder whether a teacher has to be in good terms with his or her principal.
I thought that teaching is a noble profession with clear guidelines and code of ethics to govern the conduct of teachers but I was truly mistaken!
Woe unto TSC employed teachers who dare express their genuine views during school meetings.
To avoid soiling their files and reducing their chances of getting promoted, teachers have now resorted to “seeing no evil” since if they go against the demands of their heads, show cause letters will definitely find their way to TSC county offices.
Therefore teachers no longer have any voice. No wonder the phrase “Teach and Go Home” is the first slogan that welcomes any newly recruited TSC teacher in most staffroom. But where did things go wrong?
The boat got rocked when Teachers’ Unions substituted teachers’ rights with a mere pittance from SRC and TSC.
In support of the looming Teachers’ strike aimed at compelling the Treasury CS Ukur Yatani to release money for the 2021-2023 CBA, COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli noted that it is very illegal to sign a CBA that will be implemented for over 2 years.
This is where KUPPET and KNUT went wrong.
They signed a CBA that denied classroom teachers their rightful dues for five years and now KUPPET remains mum over the next CBA 2021-2023.
The best that KUPPET can do is say that the union is discussing the matter with the relevant authorities. For how long will Kenyan teachers work for peanuts and simsim awaiting the closure of the unending consultations.
Secondly, KNUT recently issued a strike notice over delayed response on the 2021-2023 teachers’ CBA.
I wonder how many teachers will turn up to chant the “solidarity forever” songs especially now that the unions overlooked their needs and sidelined them in favour of school administrators in the current CBA set to end in June.
Besides, some of the teachers who in solidarity failed to report to their stations of work when the unions issued a strike notice in 2016 were victimized by their immediate Supervisors- heads but the unions did nothing to support them.
They were ordered to write show-cause letters and for anyone who deeply understands how TSC works, this is a big deal for any teacher with prospects of landing TSC promotions.
So where does this leave classroom teachers?
It seems that KNUT whose wings have clipped is the only hope for classroom teachers. Unfortunately, the union has been shredded to pieces by the current TSC administration. KNUT neither has the numbers nor the financial might to sustain more court cases.
However, where there is a will, there is a way. This is what KNUT is doing to salvage the next CBA.
KNUT demands for immediate negotiations for the 2021-2023 Teachers’ CBA
The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has asked the Teachers’ Service Commission (TSC) to immediately commence negotiations for the (2021/2023) Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
They say the CBA is threatened and risks not being factored in the 2021/2022 fiscal year budget.
Knut National Assistant Treasurer Ali Abdi Hussein says TSC is acting strange over the next CBA talks.
Addressing teachers during the Kakamega North Knut branch election, Hussein said the 2021/2023 CBA had stalled while the current one (2017/2021) was set to expire in June.
“TSC has all of a sudden suspended the implementation of the CBA midstream and refused to constitute a panel to engage union officials,” said Hussein.
He said that was a gross violation of the Labour Relations Act (2007) and the Code of Regulations for Teachers (2015).
He warned that further delay means the new salaries and allowances will not reflect in the new financial year report as they will be deemed behind schedule.
Hussein said it was unconstitutional for TSC to handle the CBA single handedly and forward the proposals to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).
“The last CBA did not favour classroom teachers and they were evaluated poorly together with semi skilled and support staff despite some of the teachers having acquired relevant and professional qualifications,” said Hussein.
Knut is now pushing for correction of the mess in the 3rd CBA and hope that soon TSC will see the need to engage them over the same.
Hussein added that they had suggested to have a two cycle CBA from the initial four cycle to enable the union make amends on the agreement whenever need arises.
The official also defended teachers against being in school on weekends saying it was their right to observe and obey their religious backgrounds.
Hussein also said teachers were entitled to engage in national issues including the ongoing Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).
“Education is a fundamental human right aimed fully developing personality and promote mutual understanding, friendship and peace hence need for teachers to support the BBI referendum,” said Hussein.
He also criticized the move by the Ministry of Education to employ school mangers besides school heads to be in charge of free primary education (FPE) and infrastructure funds.
He described the move as a breeding ground for conflict between the two sets of management as was already being experienced between County Education Directors and their TSC counterparts.
All the Knut officials elected unopposed were Simon Ondeyo (Chairman), Timona Mukalo (Vice Chairman), Shadrack Tovoko (Executive Secretary), Silas Sasala (Assistant Secretary), and Emily Mito (Treasurer) Peter Masungo (Assistant Treasurer) and Leah Lumbasi (Woman Rep).
Also re-elected were Lucy Mulombi (PLWD’s), whileDouglas Shamala, Jackline Okwemba and Joseph Katamo captured the BEC Northern, Southern and Central zones respectively.