TSC New Salaries 2021-2023: Court Trashes SRC Freeze of Teachers’ Salaries Citing the Commission’s Limited Mandate
The Salaries and Remuneration Commission, SRC is a constitutionally mandated body charged with the responsibility of determining and reviewing basic salaries paid to all civil servants, teachers included in Kenya. However, this mandate is limited according to the latest court ruling aimed at solving the stalemate surrounding teachers’ upcoming pay rise 2021-2025.
The SRC further conducts job evaluation exercises for various categories of teachers to determine whether the salary paid to them resonates with the services they render.
Recently, the SRC conducted a new job evaluation exercise for the teachers employed by the Teachers Service Commission in Kenya.
According to the Commission’s findings, classroom teachers have been neglected and abused for a period not exceeding five years by the previous Collective Bargaining Agreement, CBA that ended on June 30.
A collective bargaining Agreement is a process of negotiation between employers and a group of employees aimed at signing employment control agreements, wages, benefits, terms and conditions of employment among other things in compensation and workers’ rights.
The Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) is cemented upon consensus then a formal written agreement between an employer and a trade union is drafted.
The CBA is a product of a comprehensive process of negotiations between the parties involved. The collective agreement is binding on the CBA term. All collective agreements are submitted to the Employment and Labor Relations Court for registration.
In the case of teachers, unions signed a four-year CBA with the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) on October 25, 2016 which came into effect on July 1, 2017 and is still pending on June 30, 2021.
The primary purpose of the collective bargaining was to reach an agreement between the unions and the TSC on the benefits, terms and conditions of teacher employment.
The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) recently fixed the payment of salaries to public servants, including teachers over the next two years, citing the negative effects of Covid-19 on the economy severely hampering the issuance and management of the next CBA cycle which is due to start on July 1, 2021 commenced June 30, 2025.
According to the latest court ruling,it is not within the SRC to determine or adjust the remuneration of public servants or to issue guidelines on when and how this public service card should be paid. The pay union also has no authority to involve unions in wage negotiations.
Therefore, the SRC should never announce that the government will suspend the remuneration of public servants. It is absurd that the SRC has blocked salary increases for public servants and in fact some public service clubs have received salary increases this financial year.
The job cuts to the public service as proposed by the IMF are still unknown – to a large extent the SRC is unaware because they seem unaware that the majority of public servants suffer from the country’s economic crisis – due to corruption, over-borrowing and the Covid-19 epidemic.
Public servants are no longer able to pay the price for the country’s economic woes fueled by increasing corruption, corruption, maladministration, and lawlessness.
Since 2019, unions have done their part by laying the groundwork for wage negotiations in the 20BA/2025 CBA cycle but instead, the State has backed down by trying to weaken union leadership so that it is weaker to represent workers effectively and efficiently.
It is clear that workers are bound by the agreement that wage increases are in line with the expected inflation. Guessing indicates that the economy is committed to a full recovery this year – the economy is expected to grow by 6.6 percent. It would therefore be a serious mistake to suspend any salary increase as this would have a negative impact on home demand.