The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has formed a team to prepare for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) before the existing one ends in 2021.
The KNUT National Vice Treasurer, Abdi Ali Hussein said the team was mandated to carry out research on cost of living, purchasing power and value of Kenyan money among other factors touching on the country’s economy, so as to dictate the salary increment they would negotiate for teachers.
Speaking in Murang’a where he was the Chief Guest during Annual General Meeting (AGM) for KNUT Murang’a North Branch on Saturday, Hussein observed that the current CBA they have with the government was coming to an end by 2021.
He criticized the current CBA, saying it has not adequately benefited their members terming the 4-year implementation period as misinformed.
“KNUT will no longer accept a CBA which will be implemented for more than two years. The purchasing power keeps changing such that at the end of implementation of the CBA, the increment doesn’t have a meaningful impact on the teachers.
“In the current CBA, some of our members like class teachers have not benefited and that’s why we have formed a team to come up with an inclusive report to inform us the amount of salary increment we will negotiate for Kenyan teachers,” explained Hussein.
He stressed that from 2021, KNUT would only settle on a two-year CBA, saying that’s what was done in many countries.
The KNUT official castigated the plan by the government to deduct 1.5 percent house levy from teachers and civil servants, saying the move was misinformed.
He noted that such deductions should be only be implemented when there is a new CBA in place but not to subject employees to a burden they did not anticipate.
“Majority of our members have sourced loans to build their houses so now telling us they will be deducted money in the name of house levy it’s just a big joke. As KNUT we will fully block such deduction,” added Hussein.
The government had announced that from July this year, civil servants and public officers would be deducted 1.5 percent house levy from their salary to fund implementation of one of agenda 4 of providing affordable housing to Kenyans.
On implementation of Competency Based Curriculum (CBC), Hussein said KNUT was against the process in which the new curriculum was being implemented.
He faulted the government for rushing to implement CBC without considering facilities and personnel needed in the process.
“CBC needs well trained tutors on the new curriculum, enough classrooms, among other facilities, but some of our schools even lack good classrooms and desks. It seems the new curriculum is meant to benefit private education institutions which many Kenyans cannot afford,” he further said.
Meanwhile, KNUT threatened to call for a strike if Teachers Service Commission appealed against a court ruling which has given way for promotion of more than 50, 000 teachers.
The ruling which was made on Thursday, also blocked the TSC from carrying out massive transfers of teachers commonly known as delocalization.
“If TSC appeals the High Court ruling in favour of teachers, we will not hesitate but call for a national strike,” noted Hussein.
By Bernard Munyao